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Originating in Persian, Indian, and Arabic sources as far back as the ninth century AD, this collection of bawdy tales-which Burton was the first to bring to English readers in uncensored form-has exerted incalculable influence on modern literature. It represents one of the earliest examples of a framing story, as young Shahrazad, under threat of execution by the King, postpones her death by regaling him with these wildly entertaining stories over the course of 1,001 nights. The stories themselves feature early instances of sexual humor, satire and parody, murder mystery, horror, and even science fiction.
Burton's annotated 16-volume collection, as infamous as it is important, was first published between 1885 and 1888, and remains an entertainingly naughty read.
Volume X-which concludes Burton's initial publication of the tales-includes:
• "Ma'aruf the Cobbler and His Wife Fatimah"
• Burton's essays on the origins of the tales and other background material
• appendices and indexes
• and more.