The Portable Arabian Nights
By John Payne (translator) | Contributed to by Campbell
This bids fair to be the definitive edition of a classic known to the majority of readers only through those stories familiarized in childhood reading. The editor has retained the well-known framework, the many times told stories, and the additional, little known stories- thirty six in all, to take up the 100 nights — complete; and others in abridged form. The Payne translation from the Arabic is used unexpurgated. The Arabian Nights have long been vilified, heritage of the Puritan era. The background of scholarship, evidenced in the Introduction, provides for the student something of the Persian humanistic movement, in which these stories are rooted. The growth and development of the series is traced, the sources and dates indicated. Something of Baghdad, of Haroun er Reshid, socially, politically, intellectually, supplies immediate background for the analysis of the tales themselves.