The Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia at Monticello.org says,
“Don Quixote was one of the few works of fiction that Thomas Jefferson was clearly partial to. He used the text in its original language to learn Spanish, and had his children do the same. Jefferson owned a number of different editions over his lifetime.”
Monticello.org also lists 18 pieces of Jefferson’s personal correspondence in which Quixote is mentioned during the 51 years between 1771 and 1822.
When a person repeatedly speaks and writes about Don Quixote for 51 years, I think we can safely assume the book had a huge impact on that person.
NOTE FROM INDY– Tobin Mueller, in the video below, is a miraculously good arranger and I have heard some of his other stuff, too, so I know he is a genius composer, but his singing is merely adequate, so forgive that in advance, okay? I think Tobin recorded this at home, probably so he would have some documentation of his arrangement of the song. The melancholy of his interpretation makes it my personal favorite. When I found it on YouTube, it had only 310 views. What a pity!
– Indy Beagle
“My take on this song differs from the triumphant showstopper performed on stage. I sing from the point of view of someone who knows the dream is impossible, but perserveres nonethless. Please pay special attention to the piano. I hope it speaks for itself.”
– Tobin Mueller