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Edward William Lane 1801–1876The Life of the Pioneering Egyptologist and Orientalist$
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Jason Thompson

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9789774162879

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774162879.001.0001

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Arabian Nights

Arabian Nights

(p.401) 21 Arabian Nights
Edward William Lane 1801–1876

Jason Thompson

American University in Cairo Press

Another letter arrived two days after the rejection of Description of Egypt. This one was from Charles Knight, asking for a meeting to discuss terms for a new translation of A Thousand and One Nights also known as the Arabian Nights. Knight called on Lane in Kensington early the following week, where they confirmed their agreement. The Arabian Nights had become a literary classic in the West, and there was a clearly demonstrable need for a new English translation. Its origin lay in clusters of folk tales that circulated orally for centuries around the Middle East and beyond. The Arabian Nights became so popular in England that there were more than eighty editions of various kinds by the end of the eighteenth century, and that may well be a conservative estimate.

Keywords:   Charles Knight, Arabian Nights, English translation, Middle East

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