The Ingenious Nobleman Sir Quixote of La Mancha (published in two volumes, 1605 and 1615) is the story of the imaginative Alonso Quixano’s adventures as Don Quixote de la Mancha, a chivalrous knight who defeats dragons and frees damsels. Perhaps because he has read too many chivalric tales of old, Alonso truly believes he is Don Quixote, and along with his farmer friend Sancho Panza, who becomes his squire, he seeks various quests to prove his knightly worth. While he travels on these quests, his friends and family attempt to bring him home by posing as various characters in his delusion. Hugely influential, the novel is perhaps more self-aware than its hero is.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547-1616) was a Spanish writer who some credit as the first to write a modern novel. His acclaimed work Don Quixote has been translated into more languages than nearly any other book in history, second only to the Bible.