BOOK OF THE THOUSAND NIGHTS AND A NIGHT. Translated from the Arabic by Capt. Sir R. F. Burton. Printed from the Original Edition and Edited by Leonard C. Smithers
Burton, Richard F., translator
Price: 2,450.00 USD
(London: H. S. Nichols & Co., 1894), THE FIRST OF NICHOLS AND SMITHERS' FINE LIBRARY EDITIONS OF THIS MASTERPIECE OF WORLD LITERATURE AND ONE OF THE GREAT TRANSLATION EFFORTS OF ALL TIME, AND TO THIS DAY, UNRIVALED BY ANY SUBSEQUENT LINGUISTIC FEAT. Richard Burton was one of the foremost linguists of his time, an explorer, poet, translator, ethnologist, and archaeologist, among other things. 'The Thousand Nights and a Night' is probably the most famous of all his many works. This translation reflected his encyclopedic knowledge of Arabic language, sexual practices and life: "it reveals a profound acquaintance with the vocabulary and customs of the Muslims, with their classical idiom," [Ency Britt] as well as colloquialisms, philosophy, modes of thought and intimate details. In contrast to Victorian mores, Burton was driven to explore what would now be called by literary critics the uncanny/Unheimliche or the unresolvable tensions of human beings. Accordingly, he recorded details of daily life and practices that were considered vulgar at the time. The original edition was published in Benares in 1885 and printed by the Kamashastra Society for private subscribers only. Lady Burton's edition of 1886 omitted 215 pages from the original text. In this edition, the omitted material has been restored. Edited by Leonard Smithers, who hoped that this edition would permit Burton's translation of the famous tales to "take its proper place on the library shelf alongside Cervantes and Shakespeare." (From the Editor's Note.). 12 volumes. First edition thus, the first Nichols/Smithers "Library Editon", with all passages restored which had been omitted from Lady Burton's edition of 1886. 8vo, black cloth decorated with elaborate Islamic design filling top cover, gilt lettered on spine. A very fine set exceptionally so for this edition, near mint.