The much-loved tales from The Thousand and One Nights first appeared in English translation in the early nineteenth century, based on French translations of versions of the stories found in Syrian and Persian manuscripts. The popularity of these ancient and beguiling tales set against the backdrop of Baghdad, a city of wealth and peace, stoked the widespread enthusiasm for and scholarly interest in eastern arts and culture all across Europe.
Four of the most well-known tales, translated by Laurence Housman, are reproduced in this collector's edition: "Sindbad the Sailor," "Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp," "The Story of the Three Calendars" and "The Sleeper Awakened." Each is illustrated with exquisite watercolors by the renowned artist Edmund Dulac. The sumptuous illustrations reproduced here capture the beauty and timeless quality of these ever-fascinating stories, made at the zenith of early twentieth-century book illustration.