Petition for licence and privilege by Cervantes, Madrid (1604)

Source: Archivo Histórico Nacional; AHN, Consejos, 44826-1

Petition for licence and privilege by Cervantes, Madrid (1604), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

Back | Record | Images | Commentaries: [1]
Record-ID: s_1604

Permanent link:

Full title:
Petition for licence and privilege by Miguel de Cervantes (Don Quixote)

Full title original language:
Petición de licencia y privilegio de Miguel de Cervantes para El ingenioso Hidalgo de la Mancha

It can be argued that Don Quixote represents a paradigmatic shift in early modern literature. It crystallises its literary form par excellence: the novel. This commentary explains the distinctive place occupied by Cervantes’ request for printing privileges in the Spanish history of copyright. Curiously enough, the writing of the sequel of Don Quixote is also a key moment in which to view authorial attempts to control the text and the franchise created through it. Our purpose is to provide a brief survey of the particular circumstances surrounding what could have been the most valuable printing privilege in Spanish Renaissance literature. The commentary goes on to consider the influence of printing privileges on providing the conditions for the emergence of the novel.

1 Commentary:

  • Alonso Cortés, N. Casos Cervantinos que tocan a Valladolid (Madrid, Centro de Estudios Históricos, 1916)

  • Bouza, F. “El primer lector del Quijote” Cervantes. Bulletin of the Cervantes Society of America, 29.1 (Spring 2009) pp. 13-30

  • Cotarelo y Mori, E. Efemérides Cervantinas (Madrid, Tipografía de la Revista de Archivos, 1905)

  • Escudero, J. A. “Escribanos y Secretarios en los preliminares de la edición del Quijote” Anuario de historia del derecho español, 75 (2005), pp. 67- 84

Related documents in this database:
1502: Licensing Rules
1506: Nebrija's Printing Privilege
1554: Royal Charter for Licensing
1558: Censorship Rules
1559: Privilege for printing music for the Indies
1605: Don Quixote’s Privilege
1605: Don Quixote’s Privilege Extensions
1614: Publishing Agreement: the Spanish translation of Ludovico Blosio oeuvre
1752: Privilege Tranfers: Contract between Antonio Sanz and his bookseller
1762: Free Trade Regulations
1763: Rules for Printers and Book Merchants' Guild in Madrid
1792: Barcelona Newspaper' Printing Privilege
1834: Privilege to the Royal Lithographic Establishment

Author: Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de

Publisher: N/A

Year: 1604

Location: Madrid

Language: Spanish

Source: Archivo Histórico Nacional; AHN, Consejos, 44826-1

Persons referred to:
Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de
Herrera y Tordesillas , Antonio de

Places referred to:
Castile-La Mancha

Cases referred to:

Institutions referred to:
Royal Council


authorship, theory of
labour theory
licensing, approbation

Responsible editor: Bellido, Xalabarder & Casas Vallès

Our Partners

Copyright statement

You may copy and distribute the translations and commentaries in this resource, or parts of such translations and commentaries, in any medium, for non-commercial purposes as long as the authorship of the commentaries and translations is acknowledged, and you indicate the source as Bently & Kretschmer (eds), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900) (

You may not publish these documents for any commercial purposes, including charging a fee for providing access to these documents via a network. This licence does not affect your statutory rights of fair dealing.

Although the original documents in this database are in the public domain, we are unable to grant you the right to reproduce or duplicate some of these documents in so far as the images or scans are protected by copyright or we have only been able to reproduce them here by giving contractual undertakings. For the status of any particular images, please consult the information relating to copyright in the bibliographic records.

Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge, 10 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DZ, UK