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Les mille & une nuits.

Contes Arabes réimprimés sur l'édition originale avec une préface de Jules Janin. Vingt et une eaux-fortes par Ad. Lalauze.

Paris: Librairie des bibliophiles, 1881 Stock Code: 130843
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Limited edition, from a stated issue of 10 copies printed on japon (this copy unnumbered); a further 170 copies were issued printed on Holland paper, 20 on China paper, and 20 on Whatman paper. The publishing company Librairie des bibliophiles was founded by Damase Jouast (1834-1893) to publish exceptional editions of the great works of French and world literature. Aimed at the collector market, great care was taken with regard to the typography, paper and illustration. This edition of the Arabian Nights uses the text of the first French edition, translated by Antoine Galland (1646-1715) and published in 12 volumes in Paris between 1704 and 1717.

Galland's was the first Western translation, and includes the first appearance anywhere of certain tales such as Aladdin and Ali Baba which were related to him orally by a French-Syrian Maronite traveller. Borges pinpointed Galland's significance: "The most famous and eloquent encomiums of The Thousand and One Nights - by Coleridge, Thomas de Quincey, Stendhal, Tennyson, Edgar Allan Poe, Newman - are from readers of Galland's translation. Two hundred years and ten better translations have passed, but the man in Europe or the Americas who thinks of the Thousand and One Nights thinks, invariably, of this first translation. The Spanish adjective milyunanochesco thousand-and-one-nights-esque... has nothing to do with the erudite obscenities of Burton or Mardrus and everything to do with Antoine Galland's bijoux and sorceries."

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10 volumes bound in 5, quarto (220 x 181 mm). Original printed wrappers bound into recent brown half morocco by C. Glingler of Rome, spines lettered in gilt with gilt motif of praying man to central compartment, marbled sides and endpapers, top edges gilt, others untrimmed.


With 3 distinct engraved plates in first volume and 2 distinct plates in each of the subsequent 9 volumes, each plate given in triplicate as called for, i.e. 63 plates in total.


Light toning to pages and a few instances of minor creasing. A fine set.


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