“Somewhere in la Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a lance and ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag and a greyhound for racing.” ― Miguel de Cervantes, the first lines of Don Quixote.
El Ingenioso Hidalgo, Don Quijote de la Mancha, also known as Don Quixote in English speaking countries, is a very long (4 volumes), legendary epic medieval fantasy satire novel written in 1605 by Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra.
It is considered the all-time most influential and important literary work of the whole Spanish language. It is also considered a founding work of Western civilization literature, it is often labelled as the first modern novel and one of the greatest works ever written. Don Quixote is also one of the most-translated books in the world and one of the best-selling novels of all time.
The plot revolves around the adventures of a member of the lowest nobility, an "Hidalgo" from La Mancha named Alonso Quijano, who reads so many chivalric romance novels that he loses his mind and decides to become a knight-errant (caballero andante) to revive chivalry and serve his nation and his kingdom.
The novel has been adapted into several theatrical and musical plays, TV series, motion picture films and even anime over the years.