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The Book of The Thousand Nights and A Night,

[with] the Supplemental Nights.

Stock Code 110867

Benares [London], printed by the Kamashastra Society, for private subscribers only, 1885-88.

Original price $4,975.00 - Original price $4,975.00
Original price $0.00
$4,975.00
$4,975.00 - $4,975.00
Current price $4,975.00
First edition burton arabian nights. First edition of Burton's magnum opus. Richard Burton was an accomplished geographer, explorer, orientalist, ethnologist, diplomat, polylinguist and author who is best known for this translation of Arabian Nights. One of the great Arabists of his day, he had long wanted to publish an unexpurgated version of the "Arabian Nights" stories. The preceeding English translations into English (from the original Arabic), notably that by Edward Lane (1839), were notably abridged editions of the text. In translating the Nights, Burton "attempted to invent an English equivalent of medieval Arabic. In doing so, he drew upon Chaucerian English, Elizabethan English, and the 1653 English translation by Sir Thomas Urquhart of the first three books of Rabelais's Gargantua and Pantagruel" (Byatt).

Often considered Burton's most enduring work, the first edition was limited to one thousand copies and printed exclusively for private subscribers. The explicit nature of the text put Burton at risk of prosecution if the work had been published in an open edition, thus the private dissemination of the work, along with the spurious publication location of 'Benares' were the vehicles by which Burton skirted the obscenity laws of Victoria England.

First edition, 16 volumes (10 volumes of the Nights plus 6 volumes Supplemental Nights), 8vo (250 x 160 mm), some very light scattered spotting to preliminary leaves of a few volumes else very clean and crisp internal condition, endpapers to volumes I and II clipped at top corner, original publisher's cloth, t.e. in red, spines to supplementary volumes faded (as often), a bright and attractive set.

Penzer p. 114-116.
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The Book of The Thousand Nights and A Night,

BURTON, Richard Francis (translator).

Stock code: 110867

$4,975.00

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