Did Cervantes Write Don Quixote While in Prison?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about novels and novelists and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the novel urban legends featured so far.

NOVEL URBAN LEGEND: Miguel de Cervantes wrote Don Quixote while in prison.

Don Quixote, or as it was originally titled, The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote of La Mancha, is likely the most famous novel in the history of Spanish literature.

The story follows a man in the latter part of his life who has become obsessed with the ideas of chivalry and knighthood, even when said ideas seem to contradict reality itself. Along with his faithful “squire,” Sancho Panza, Don Quixote goes on a series of “quests” that proceed from the farcical to the tragic as the book goes along.

Written in two volumes over a ten year period (1605 for the first release, 1615 for volume two – the book is now typically read as one volume with two parts), Miguel de Cervantes’ novel is considered an absolute masterpiece of Western literature. WHEN the novel was written is an interesting story in and of itself.

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