A Plain and Literal Translation of the Arabian Nights' Entertainments,
now entituled [sic] the book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, with introduction, explanatory notes on the manners and customs of Moslem men and a Terminal Essay upon the history of The Nights.Press of the The Carson-Harper Co. [for] The Burton Society of Denver, Colorado, for Private Circulation among its members, Denver, CO , [1900-01] Stock Code: 85108
NotesFirst and limited US edition of Burton's translation, number 989 of 1,000 sets, "the first and by far the best reprint of the original unexpurgated edition of the Nights" (Penzer); each page of the original edition of 1885-88 was photographed "from the negatives of which zincos zincograph plates were prepared, and electros electrograph plates from these latter were used for the printing" (ibid.). The first edition was unillustrated and Wood's illustrations first appeared in 1890, in an edition of Jonathan Scott's translation, entitled Arabian Nights' Entertainments. The Burton Society of Denver numbered 200 members, including the actress and suffragiste Julia Marlowe Taber and the theatrical manager Augustin Daly, and the set was offered to subscribers at 100.
"The Arabian Nights had been an important part of Burton's life for decades. In 1882 he began translating it in earnest. Although there were other translations of the Nights in English, Burton's was distinguished by his retention of the sexual content of the original Arabic versions, while his extensive footnotes drew on a lifetime of travel and research. Unable to get an acceptable offer from a publisher, he decided to print it himself, a venture that must have seemed more speculative than any of his searches for gold. He and Isabel announced a limited subscription of 1000 copies, hoping for 500 responses; to their surprise, they received 2000, but kept their word and accepted only 1000. At last Burton's literary efforts were rewarded with financial success, as he got 16,000 guineas from an outlay of 6000... Despite its deliberately archaic style, The book of the thousand nights and a night... has become the pre-eminent English translation of the Middle Eastern classic. It is the keystone of Burton's literary reputation" (ODNB).
16 volumes, octavo (240 x 150 mm). Attractively bound in recent dark blue full morocco, titles and decoration to spines, raised bands, gilt foliate roll tool border to sides, marbled endpapers, top edges gilt.
100 monochrome illustrations on vellum paper by Stanley L. Wood (captioned tissue-guards printed in red).
A handsomely bound set.
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