Arion Lyre

89. Don Quixote, Book II, by Miguel de Cervantes, illustrated by William T. Wiley

Don Quixote, Book II, by Miguel de Cervantes, Translated by Edith Grossman, Illustrated by William T. Wiley, October 2010.

Sample page, I Love My LoveWith the publication in October 2010 of Book II of Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, following Book I in November 2009, the two-volume set is now complete and stands as one of the major accomplishments of the Press, alongside Moby-Dick and Ulysses. The Arion Press edition of Don Quixote takes its place in a distinguished tradition of illustrated versions of Cervantes’ comic masterpiece. Over the centuries, the adventures of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza have inspired artists and illustrators including Rowlandson, Fragonard, Boucher, Goya, Doré, and Picasso. The Arion edition is illustrated by the artist William T. Wiley, whose work was the subject of a major traveling retrospective exhibition originated by the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D. C. in 2009.

A significant portion of the limited edition of 400 copies of Book I has already been sold to Arion Press subscribers and other individual collectors, libraries, and museums. Copies of Book II are reserved to join the like-numbered copies of Book I. New buyers may now purchase both Books I and II.  

Don Quixote cover and slipcase

Edith Grossman is one of the most important translators working today. Her 2003 translation of Don Quixote has been acclaimed as the unsurpassed version in English. Born in 1936, she holds graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and New York University and has specialized in Spanish-language literature from Latin America and Spain, including works by Mario Vargas Llosa and Gabriel García Márquez. She lives in New York City.

In Don Quixote, artist William T. Wiley has produced one of Arion Press’s most generously illustratrated editions. For Book II Wiley has made 55 illustrations, exceeding the 42 in Book I. The artist was born in 1937 in Bedford, Indiana and was raised in Indiana, Texas, and Richland, Washington. He earned a M.F.A. at the California School of Fine Arts in 1962. His first one-man museum show was at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1960. Wiley has had works in the Venice Biennial (1980) and the Whitney Biennial (1983). Other important exhibitions were held at the M. H. de Young Museum, San Francisco (1996), and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (2005). The Arion Press edition of Don Quixote will be celebrated in New York in March 2011 with a symposium at the Americas Society and an exhibition at the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute.

Don Quixote print by William T. WileyIn addition to the 97 full-page images within the books, we are also issuing a large separate print by Wiley and a matching broadside. Both refer to the ten-year interval between the original publication by Cervantes of his two volumes, in 1605 and 1615, during which an imposter seeking to profit from pent-up demand wrote a sequel to Book I. Cervantes revenged this transgression in Book II, when Don Quixote visits a printing house in Barcelona where the pirated edition is being printed and he disparages it. This incident has been excerpted and printed on our handpress as a broadside, which we present as a gift to all who order the Arion edition. William T. Wiley has created a relief print in black and three colors, “Don Quixote in a Printing House in Barcelona”, to accompany a copy of the broadside of that incident, which can be purchased with the books. Both the print and the broadside are 24 by 18 inches, printed on Somerset English mouldmade paper.

The Arion Don Quixote is printed by letterpress on an all-cotton fiber sheet made to our specifications for this project by Mead Specialty Papers, supplied by Legion Paper. The type is Centaur, designed by Bruce Rogers, composed and cast by Mackenzie & Harris. The size of the text type is large, 16 point, cast on a 14-point body, leaded two points, so that the effect is solid 16 point, producing a desirable weave to the page. The initial letters were drawn by Mallette Dean in 1963 for the Grabhorn Press, a set of capitals intended for use with Centaur type. The illustrations are printed from polymer plates made from negatives scratched by the artist, using an etching needle. The prints are in sepia, the type in black, and the initials in red-brown inks. The format is 10-3/8 by 7 inches, 576 pages for Book I, 632 pages for Book II. The binding is three-piece goatskin with dark brown for the spine, with gold titling and tan for the sides, and with a DQ monogram designed by Wiley, in gold, on the front cover. The sections are sewn by hand with hand-sewn headbands at top and bottom. The books are presented in slipcases, with tan cloth around the top, spine, and bottom, dark brown paper sides, and spine label. The books are numbered and signed by the artist. Book I is the eighty-sixth publication and Book II the eighty-ninth publication of the Arion Press.

The price of each volume is $2,000, $4,000 for the set. The Wiley print, “Don Quixote in a Printing House in Barcelona”, accompanied by a copy of the broadside of that incident, as described earlier, can be purchased only with the books. A card, with a reproduction of the print and a photograph of the binding, will be furnished on request. The edition of the print is forty copies for sale, five artist’s proofs, and five printer’s proofs. All are numbered and signed by the artist. The price of the print is $1,500.

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Edition: The illustrations are printed in sepia, the type in black, and the initials in red-brown. The format is 10.375  by 7 inches, 576 pages for Book I, 632 pages for Book II. The binding is three-piece goatskin with dark brown for the spine with gold titling and tan for the sides, with a DQ monogram in gold, designed by Wiley, on the front cover. The books are numbered and signed by the artist in an edition of 400 copies. The price of each volume is $2,000 ($4,000 for the set). Don Quixote is available only as a set.

William T. Wiley has created a colored relief print, “Don Quixote in a Printing House in Barcelona”, 24 by 18 inches, printed on Somerset English mouldmade paper, with black plus three additional colors printed from polymer plates. The edition of the print is forty copies for sale, numbered and signed by the artist. The price is $1,500.

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Read more about the translation and the artist.

New York Exhibit of Arion Don Quixote Extended
June 8 is last day the exhibition of the Arion Press Don Quixote at the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute at 684 Park Avenue (at 68th). A new painting by William T. Wiley is shown, along with the book, print, printing and binding artifacts, and a video on 400 years of illustrations. Read the press release and event details.


In the News.

The Paris Review praises the Arion Press edition of Don Quixote.