About the Novel: Don Quixote

Posted on April 07, 2015 by Gibbs Smith


Hello Little Chicks, Professor Hawkins here. This month BabyLit released Don Quixote: A Spanish Language Primer, and I’m here to teach you about the original book. Don Quixote, or The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, was written by Miguel Cervantes. Cervantes lived in Spain, and his Spanish novel was published in two parts, in 1605 and 1615. It’s an especially important book because it is considered to be one of the first novels ever written and a founding novel of modern Western literature. That means that how we define good literature and what a novel is, was influenced by this book.


Don Quixote is the story of a man who goes a little soft in the head from reading too many books (a gentle warning, all you readers out there!) and sets off on a road trip astride his horse Rocinante with his trusty sidekick Sancho Panza. He has many adventures, but the reader can see that what is really happening is different than what Don Quixote thinks is happening. He thinks he is living in a fairytale world full of knights and maidens in distress. One thing people may not know if they have not read the book is that it is a comedy. It is very funny as we see him interacting in totally inappropriate ways to the world around him. The most famous example of this is when sees windmills in a field and charges into battle to fight them, thinking they are giants.


Don Quixote has inspired many movies and plays over the years. One of the most well-known is the musical Man of La Mancha, which features the famous song “The Impossible Dream.”


So until next time, fly clear of windmills.

Sincerely, Professor Hawkins

Posted in About the Novel, Don Quixote, From the desk of Professor Hawkins