‘The Arabian Nights’ story eBook
195 page eBook Arabian Nights

The Arabian Nights stories

This, the “Aldine Edition” of “The Arabian Nights Entertainments,”
forms the first four volumes of a proposed series of reprints of the
Standard works of fiction which have appeared in the English language.
It is our intention to publish the series in an artistic way, well illustrating a text
typographically as perfect as possible. The texts in all cases will be carefully chosen
from approved editions.
The series is intended for those who appreciate well printed and illustrated books, or who
are in want of a handy and handsome edition of such works to place upon their
bookshelves.
The exact origin of the Tales, which appear in the Arabic as “The Thousand and One
Nights,” is unknown. The Caliph Haroon al Rusheed, who, figures in so lifelike a manner
in many of the stories, was a contemporary of the Emperor Charlemagne, and there is
internal evidence that the collection was made in the Arabic language about the end of
the tenth century.
They undoubtedly convey a picturesque impression of the manners, sentiments, and
customs of Eastern Mediaeval Life.
The stories were translated from the Arabic by M. Galland and first found their way into
English in 1704, when they were retranslated from M. Galland’s French text and at once
became exceedingly popular.
This process of double translation had great disadvantages; it induced Dr. Jonathan Scott,
Oriental Professor, to publish in 1811, a new edition, revised and corrected from the Arabic.
It is upon this text that the present edition is formed.