The Thousand and One Quarters of an Hour.
(Tartarian Tales). Edited by Leonard C. Smithers.London: H. S. Nichols and Co., 1893 Stock Code: 126130
"Very lively, ingenious, and entertaining imitations of the 'Arabian Nights'" - one of five copies printed on Japanese vellumFirst Smithers edition, one of five copies printed on Japanese vellum. Originally published in 1715 as Mille et un quarts d'heure, contes tartares, these stories - referred to by Smithers as "very lively, ingenious, and entertaining imitations of the 'Arabian Nights'" - were the work of the lawyer, bibliophile and prolific compiler of tales, Thomas-Simon Gueullette (1683-1766). The anonymous translation is that of Thomas Flloyd, first published as Tartarian Tales: or, a Thousand and One Quarters of Hours (London: Tonson, 1759). The publisher, H. S. Nichols, had, in 1888, set up in business with Smithers, described by the latter's biographer James G. Nelson as "publisher to the decadents", to establish the "Erotika Biblion Society, a fictitious organization modelled on Richard Burton's own Kama Shastra Society. Under this imprint, Smithers and Nichols issued several erotic books... Despite Lady Burton's insistence on editing her husband's erotic books, Smithers and Nichols were able to gain control of The Thousand Nights and a Night, which they brought out in attractive and unexpurgated editions in 1894-5" (ODNB). The framing story here is the "Tale of King Shams Al-Din", and incorporates five other tales: "History of Sharif Al-Din, son of the King of Ormuz, and of Gul-Hindi, Princess of Tuluphan", "Tale of the Three Crump Twin-Brothers of Damascus", "Tale of Utzim-Ochanti, Prince of China", "Story of Al-Kuz, and the Miller", and "Story of Faruk".
Tall octavo. Contemporary green crushed morocco by Morrell, richly gilt spine with five raised bands, gilt lettered direct, sides with gilt French fillet border and decorative cornerpieces, red morocco doublures and free endpapers, green silk bookmark, top edge gilt.
Title page printed in red and black.
Gilt morocco Beeleigh Abbey book labels of W. A. Foyle (1885-1963), founder of Foyles bookshop. Spine sunned, short split at foot of upper joint, extremities slightly rubbed, a few light abrasions to covers. A particularly handsome copy.
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