No original manuscript of Don Quixote, nor of any other work by Cervantes exists, and so scholars studying this important novel have had to rely on corrected and modernized versions of the first printed texts. Following his pivotal work on the compositors of the first editions of Don Quixote I and II, where he shows that the typographical and orthographic inconsistencies are the result of spelling preferences by the early typesetters, R.M. Flores now offers Cervantes scholars a complete typographical analysis of the first editions of Don Quixote (Part I, Madrid 1605; Part II, Madrid 1615).
This old-spelling edition of Don Quixote is the first ever to take all the typographical and textual evidence into consideration. It provides scholars with a text closer to that of Cervantes's original manuscript than any previous edition and includes:
- detailed bibliographical descriptions of the copies of the first editions used as editor's copy;
- all pertinent information concerning the editorial policy;
- detailed and complete lists of all the readings replaced, set side by side with the editorial corrections;
- a text that reproduces the non-incidental seventeenth-century typographical and orthographic peculiarities of the first editions; and
- sequential line numbering for the entire text and bibliographical data pertaining to the part, section or chapter, signature, and first (fifth, tenth, etc.) line of the text of the first editions.