Don Quixote character jug produced by G Bongera of Spain circa 1970. This Spanish knight-errant is one of the best-known creations of European literature. The epic Don Quixote, written by Miguel de Cervantes de Saavedra at the start of the 17th century, tells the tale of a simple, dignified county gentleman of La Mancha who becomes crazed by the romantic tales of chivalry which surround him. As a result, he sets out on his trusty old steed Rosinante with the aim of righting the world's wrongs. Accompanied by his earthier squire Sancho Panca, he becomes involved in a series of absurd adventures that ridicule the more tedious chivalric romances of the day. Recognized as a literary masterpiece full of sound philosophy and social comment, this tale has left its mark in the English language with the term "quixotic" referring to a romantic idealist, after the gallant role model, Don Quixote.