The Arabian Nights, those tales that Scheherazade, told to her husband, the Sultan, for 1001 nights, so that he’d spare her life for just one more day has been on my wishlist for long. This edition, published by Thomas Nelson & Sons, but missing the name of the translator, includes 18 of the tales.
Some of the stories I was familiar with like that of Ali Baba and Aladdin but most of them were absolutely new to me. I enjoyed reading about the seven voyages of Sindbad the sailor. Laughed at ‘Twice is too Much’. And found ‘The History of the Young King of the Black Isles’ to be absolutely fascinating. ‘The Story of Prince Ahmed and the Fairy Perie Banou’ saddened me as loved ones became evil because of greed and envy. I also found that childhood heroes can turn awful in one’s mature years. thus Aladin who was such a childhood favourite, I now found to be a total wastrel who simply wanted to enjoy the riches of the world without doing any honest work. Thankfully, Ali Baba continued to be a hero though it is actually Morgiana [Marjeena] who is the real hero of the story.
The world of Persia, and China, and India (with different kingdoms of Bengal and Cashmere) was so magical with its flying horses and carpets, wonderful telescopes, medicines that cure-all, and animals that speak. I was totally enchanted. The illustrations, 16 in all, added to the charm of the book.
Now to find the entire text. Have you read it?
First Line: The Persian sultan, Schah-riah, having discovered that his wife was disloyal to him, took a savage vow to marry a new wife every night and command her to be executed in the morning.
Publication Details: Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson & Sons Ltd., n.dat.