Swaftham: Printed and sold by D. Sudbury; By Longman, Hurst, and Co., 1805.
First English edition of the unauthorized fifth book of Don Quixote, by the author of the unauthorized second book. Translation is attributed to Brigg Fountine. Presentation copy from the translator on title-page of volume one which reads "From the translator to Mrs Esdaile by Brigg Fountaine Esqr". Three twelvemo volumes (7 x 4 inches; 177 x 101 mm). , 4, xliv, 219, 300-340; , 4, 286; , 4, 233, [1, blank]pp. We could find no other copies of this at auction.
Contemporary speckled calf, rebacked with most of original spines. Boards tooled in gilt. Spines stamped in gilt and lettered in blind. Board edges tooled in blind. Top edges dyed brown, others speckled red. With some rubbing to boards and corners. Some occasional light foxing. Previous owner Edmund Esdaile, decedent of the recipient of the inscription's modern ink signature and notes to front free endpaper of each volume. Overall a very good set.
"Brigg Fountaine, Esq., who died in 1825, in his 82nd year, was well learned in the ancient and modern languages, and passionately fond of music. In 1805 he published a translation of Don Quixote." (Genuki Norfolk).
"Don Quixote was first printed in Madrid in 1605. It was an immediate success—the first edition quickly sold out, and new ones were printed both in Spain and throughout Europe... When Cervantes wrote the 1605 Don Quixote, it was not at all clear that it would be the first of a two-volume set. At the end of the frame story- a pseudo-historical, metafictional narrative of how this 'true' tale came to light- a scholar has uncovered documents concerning Quixote’s continued adventures and hopes to eventually publish them. However, Cervantes’s final words are forse altro cantera con miglior plettro, or, 'perhaps someone else will sing with a better plectrum [pick for a musical instrument].” This could be interpreted as an invitation for another author to continue Quixote’s story... Nine years later, someone did: Segundo Tomo del Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha was released in 1614, authored by an Alonso Fernandez de Avellaneda- a nom de plume whose identity remains a mystery to this day. Given the ambiguity of the novel’s conclusion, the passage of several years with no sequel, and the lucrative endeavor that a second Quixote book was sure to be, it’s understandable that another writer would throw his hat into the ring. However, the book’s unauthorized nature and its preface’s personal attacks on Cervantes earned the ire of Don Quixote’s creator and eventually the disparaging label of 'the False Quixote.'Unbeknownst to Avellaneda, Cervantes was writing his own Quixote continuation, which he finished the following year. His Part II contains several references to Avellaneda, none of them kind... Cervantes learned from his 1605 mistake and closed out his Part II with no room for further sequels. Not only does he kill Quixote, he has a notary arrive to corroborate it... Not surprisingly, the demand for Avellaneda's novel has not held up well over time, though Nabokov, of all people, found it to have some merit, suggesting it was 'kinder' and 'more humane' than Cervantes’s version, which he deemed brutal and cruel. Cervantes’s two parts were frequently reprinted and were first translated into English in 1612 and 1620, respectively. Avellaneda’s text, on the other hand, was not translated until much later, in 1705, so it received the misleading descriptor 'Third Volume.'" (The Case of the False Quixote By Meredith Mann, NYPL).