Once upon a time, the name Baghdad conjured up visions of the most magical, romantic city on earth, where flying carpets carried noble thieves off on wonderful adventures, and vicious viziers and beautiful princesses mingled with wily peasants and powerful genies. This is the world of the Arabian Nights, a magnificent collection of ancient tales from Arabia, India, and Persia. The tales—often stories within stories—are told by the sultana Scheherazade, who relates them as entertainments for her jealous and murderous husband, hoping to keep him amused and herself alive.
Three fantastic tales have been chosen from our new translation to introduce readers to the delights of Arabian Nights: 'Ali Baba and the forty thieves killed by the slave girl' is a well-known and well-loved classic, placed alongside the equally enchanting 'Judar and his brothers' and 'Ma'rus the cobbler'.
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About the Author
Malcolm Lyons is a world renowned specialist in his field of classical Arabic poetry and is the senior fellow at Pembroke College, Cambridge, having been a fellow there since 1956. His published works include a biography of Saladin, The Arabian Epic, Identification and Identity in Classical Arabian Poetry, a translation of The Arabian Nights, and articles on Arabic literature. His wife specialises in Modern Arabic literature, and has been an Emertius fellow at Lady Cavendish Hall, Cambridge since 1976.
Robert Irwin is the author of For Lust of Knowing, The Middle East in the Middle Ages, The Arabian Nights: A Companion and numerous other specialised studies of Middle Eastern politics, art and mysticism. His novels include The Limits of Vision, The Arabian Nightmare The Mysteries of Algiers and Satan Wants Me.