Images: The Hoosier Don Quixote

By March 3, 2015

For today?s image we begin with an 1863 edition of Don Quixote illustrated by Gustave Doré and engraved by Héliodore Pisan. [1] Doré?s images are among the most famous and most influential illustrations of Quixote. The frontispiece illustrates how Quixote fixated on stories about knights: ?His fancy grew full of what he used to read about in his books.? [2] 

DoréGustave DonQuixote Part1 Ch1 Plate1 AWorldOfDisorderlyNotions fr Wikipedia LoRes 650px

Wikimedia has a high-resolution scan here.

As an aside, Cervantes?s immediately prior sentence reminds me of the last few semesters of my formal education:

In short, he became so absorbed in his books that he spent his nights from sunset to sunrise, and his days from dawn to dark, poring over them; and what with little sleep and much reading his brains got so dry that he lost his wits. [3]

Back on task: In 1905 Theodore Roosevelt was President of the United States and Charles Warren Fairbanks of Indiana was Vice-President. The illustrated magazine Puck developed a negative impression of Fairbanks?s presidential aspirations and published at least two Don-Quixote-themed cartoons aimed at Fairbanks in quick succession. [4] The first was based on the Doré image above. [5]

KepplerUdoJ TheHoosierDonQuixote Puck 1905May24 v57n1473 centerfold 650px

The title is, ?The Hoosier Don Quixote,? the caption reads, ?Our Esteemed Vice-President Takes His Candidacy Seriously,? and the image shows various former presidents and issues of the day. (High-resolution scans here and here.)

A few weeks later, the second cartoon had the same title but depicted a different scene from the novel. [6] For our purposes, though, the interesting bit is in the upper right corner of the first image: a dragon-ish hybrid labeled ?Mormonism.?

KepplerUdoJ TheHoosierDonQuixote Puck 1905May24 v57n1473 centerfold detail Mormonism 650px

So? gentle readers, besides George Washington on a white charger out-Nixoning Nixon, a grave Abe, and a flamboyant Teddy, what do you see?


[1] Miguel de Cervantès Saavedra, L?ingénieux hidalgo Don Quichotte de la Manche [French: The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha], Tome [Volume] 1 of 2, translated from Spanish by Louis Viardot, illustrations by Gustave Doré, engraved by Héliodore Pisan (Paris: Hachette, 1863), frontispiece. The 1869 edition is at Google Books.

[2] The full sentence is: ?His fancy grew full of what he used to read about in his books, enchantments, quarrels, battles, challenges, wounds, wooings, loves, agonies, and all sorts of impossible nonsense; and it so possessed his mind that the whole fabric of invention and fancy he read of was true, that to him no history in the world had more reality in it.? (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, 4 volumes, translated from Spanish to English by John Ormsby (New York: Macmillan, 1885), 107.) The French version attached to Doré?s image was ?Et son imagination se remplit de tout ce qu?il avait lu.? The full sentence: ?Son imagination se remplit de tout ce qu’il avait lu dans les livres, enchantements, querelles, défis, batailles, blessures, galanteries, amours, tempêtes et extravaoances impossibles; et il se fourra si bien dans la tète que tout ce magasin d’inventions rêvées était la vérité pure, qu’il n’y eut pour lui nulle autre histoire plus certaine clans le monde.? (1863 Louis Viardot translation, Chapter 1, p 11). The Spanish is: ?Llenósele la fantasía de todo aquello que leía en los libros, así de encantamientos, como de pendencias, batallas, desafíos, heridas, requiebros, amores, tormentas y disparates imposibles, y asentósele de tal modo en la imaginación que era verdad toda aquella máquina de aquellas soñadas invenciones que leía, que para él no había otra historia más cierta en el mundo? (source).

[3] I believe it is de rigueur to insist that it?s better in Spanish, which is, in fact, my opinion; ?se le secó el cerebro? is just cool:  ?En resolución, él se enfrascó tanto en su lectura, que se le pasaban las noches leyendo de claro en claro, y los días de turbio en turbio, y así, del poco dormir y del mucho leer, se le secó el cerebro, de manera que vino a perder el juicio.? (source)

[4] I say ?at least two? because I have been unable to locate a scan of Puck, volume 57. I?ve only seen a few images from the volume and don?t know about the in-magazine context.

[5] Udo J Keppler [signed, ?J. K. after Doré?], ?The Hoosier Don Quixote,? Puck 57.1473 (1905 May 24): centerfold. Udo J Keppler had his name changed to Joseph Keppler, Jr.

[6] Udo J Keppler [signed, ?J. K. after Doré?], ?The Hoosier Don Quixote,? Puck 57.1476 (1905 Jun 14), centerfold.

KepplerUdoJ TheHoosierDonQuixote FlowerOfIndiana Armor Moon Puck 1905Jun14 v57n1476 centerfold

The caption reads: ?The Flower of Indiana Knighthood Keeping Watch Over His Boiler-Plate.?

Article filed under Miscellaneous


  1. The dragon has a monkey face. It looks like something from the Wizard of Oz.

    It’s really kind of curious. Instead of looking baleful, the Mormon Dragon’s patriarchal grin just looks daffy.

    Comment by Adam G. — March 3, 2015 @ 7:05 am

  2. Let’s see. Among the book titles are “Monroe Doctrine,” “Inaugural Speeches,” “The Winning of the West (Also N. S. and E.),” “Code of Square Deals,” and “Interstate Commerce Laws.”

    Comment by Gary Bergera — March 3, 2015 @ 8:05 am

  3. Thanks, Adam and Gary.

    Adam, I agree about the daffiness. Serious “menace” seems not to be the intended portrayal.

    Gary, good call on the book titles. One could review a good chunk of the political history of the latter nineteenth century for a freshman History class with just this image.

    Comment by Edje Jeter — March 3, 2015 @ 3:53 pm

  4. Just awesome, Edje.

    Comment by WVS — March 4, 2015 @ 1:00 pm

  5. Thanks, WVS.

    Comment by Edje Jeter — March 4, 2015 @ 8:08 pm


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