The character of Don Quixote first appeared in the novel Don Quixote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, published in two volumes, in 1605 and 1615.
Don Quixote is considered the most influential work of literature from the Spanish Golden Age and the entire Spanish literary canon. As a founding work of modern Western literature it regularly appears high on lists of the greatest works of fiction ever published. In a 2002 list, Don Quixote was cited as the "best literary work ever written" and has been translated into more languages than any book other than the Bible.
Elric Hooper and Des Wilson examine the far-reaching influence Don Quixote and his hapless squire Sancho Panza who have inspired painters, filmmakers, composers and philosophers.