A Plain and Literal Translation of the Arabian Nights' Entertainments, Now Entituled the Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night. (Including: Supplemental Nights).
Royal 8vo (24 x 16 cm). 14 (instead of 17) vols. With frontispieces and numerous illustrations (vol. 8 lacking one image). Contemporary richly gilt full cloth. Top edges gilt.
(2) The same. The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night. A Plain and Literal Translation of the Arabian Nights Entertainments. Vol. IV. (Including: Supplemental nights, vol. VI). (Colophons: USA), ibid., [ca. 1940]. Contemporary richly gilt and silvered full cloth. Top edges red.
The first Burton Club edition of Richard Burton's celebrated translation of Alf Laylah wa-Laylah, commonly known in English as the Arabian Nights. These Arabic tales, cherished in Europe since the early 18th century, are often erotic in content, and in Burton's unexpurgated translation they outraged Victorian England. Burton included numerous footnotes and a scholarly apparatus, offering a vivid picture of Arabian life, which set his translation apart from earlier English renderings. Bold to a fault, Richard Burton travelled to Mecca, explored the African Great Lakes, shocked his readers with his candid travel accounts, and gained fame and riches with his translation of the Arabian Nights. The first edition was published in 1885-88 and re-issued by the Burton Club shortly thereafter.
The present set lacks volume 4 of the "Nights", as well as volumes 4 and 7 of the "Supplemental Nights". The volumes numbered "IV" and "V" of the "Supplemental Nights" are in fact volumes 5 and 6. In lieu of the missing tomes the collection includes volume 4 of the "Arabian Nights" and volume 6 of the "Supplemental Nights" from a later 16-volume Burton Club edition, which Ross dates ca. 1940. This later date is supported by the fact that this edition is not included in Penzer's thorough bibliography published in 1923.
Spines slightly faded; extremities lightly worn. A fine set, uncut and partly unopened.
Penzer 131. (2) Scheherazade's Web: The 1001 Nights & Comparative Literature, J. Ross 10 & 11.