Skip to main content

Exhibitions

Discover our collection

Title page spread of The thousand and one nights or Arabian nights' entertainments

Title page spread of The thousand and one nights or Arabian nights' entertainments

From Edward William Lane, The thousand and one nights or Arabian nights' entertainments, London, Cecil Palmer, 1921

State Library of Victoria, S892.7 AR1LB v 1

Edward William Lane was an Arabic scholar, whose Arabic–English lexicon continues to be one of the key Arabic–English dictionaries in use today. He spent three years in Egypt (1825–28), after which he published his Account of the manners and customs of the modern Egyptians (1836).

From 1838 on, Lane published his translation of the 1001 nights, commissioned by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. Lane’s translation is extensively abridged, as he deleted whole stories or sections containing sexual references and other elements that he found morally objectionable.

The eminent British artist Frank Brangwyn illustrated this limited-edition six-volume version.