Guide THE ARABIAN NIGHTS (non illustrated)

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From then on, its members had a monopoly over book production, meaning that the ownership of a text could not be legally sold and that the text could not be published by anyone else.


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This situation lasted until with the voting of the Copyright Act, which came into force in as the Statute of Anne. This copyright statute granted legal protection to the authors of books or to the purchasers of the copies i. However, this system did not encourage the production of new ideas and the publication of new books since the owners of the copies of books prefered to reprint the books for which they already possessed a copyright, rather than buying new copyrights for new publications.

The amount of text contained in each part is small. There is just enough to introduce the engravers and illustrators of the period, information on the techniques used, and also indications on the changing tastes and expectations of the reading public. It is then followed by long series of coloured reproductions in A4 of the various illustrations presented in the introductory text.

Each picture is well referenced and some additional comments are added on the left and right margins of the pictures, enabling the reader to locate each image within the text of the Nights and to reconnect it with the history of the book. Indeed, the Arab protagonists are often portrayed wearing the Roman toga or contemporary dress with only a turban loosely tied up around their heads to connote the Eastern provenance of these characters. The architecture of the settings is systematically classical.

It is, indeed, quite striking to compare the first illustration of the Nights, which shows Shahrazad talking to the Sultan Shahriyar in a large canopied bed placed in the centre of a grandly classical interior design, with later illustrations of the prototypical sultana or harem girl enticingly stretched out on a sofa. The only explanation adduced by Irwin to account for this lack of verisimilitude is the scarcity of visual sources available at the time. However, other considerations, such as the marketability of such books but also the question of literary value and taste, have to be taken into account.

New turns in the history of illustrating the Nights were also taken when the oriental tales were adapted for children and when, in the course of the nineteenth century, the rate of literacy increased and the demand for cheap publications went up accordingly. The second part of Visions of the Jinn tells us the story of new techniques being experimented for mass publication on cheap paper. Thomas Bewick is said to have revived the popularity of woodblock in the nineteenth century by transferring the technique of intaglio printing onto boxwood.

The traveller and orientalist Edward Lane benefited from these inventions and both his survey entitled The Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians and his translation of The Thousand and One Nights were illustrated and sold at a cheap price. After the Lane-Harvey ethnographic interpretation of the Nights which, incidentally, was published by Charles Knight, the founder of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge , more fanciful representations, influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites movement in the arts, were preferred.

The Morizot edition of Les mille et une nuits and the Jouast edition of were the first to have their illustrations etched. Eventually, in the turn of the century, it was replaced by half-tone printing which brought all shades of grey into the illustrations.

Kay Nielsen - Arabian Nights

Albert Letchford was one of the few illustrators of the Nights who was also qualified as an Orientalist painter. However, as Irwin notes, the profession of book illustrator, and especially in the popular literature book market, was not attractive enough, even financially speaking, for artists accustomed to grand style painting.

Thus, Georges Newnes, who published in a new version of the Arabian Nights for children, hired painters with a reputation, such as William Heath Robinson, who had trained at the Royal Academy Schools of Painting, for the drawings to be inserted in his edition. These illustrators let their own styles and interpretations show through.

According to Irwin, this influence was something new and to be accounted for by the circulation of such artifacts in Europe and their careful study, as carried out by F. There is also a progression from attempts to represent the Orient to attempts to assimilate its style. Thus, Visions of the Jinn takes us through the fascinating history of illustrating a book, namely The Arabian Nights, which has, for centuries, allured and inspired generations of readers, adults and children alike. It displays an incredible array of illustrations and provides insight into the lives and influences of illustrators, engravers and publishers.

It also purveys indications about the different engraving processes, printing techniques, and about the quality of the books. Finally, it indicates the different ways in which Europe assimilated a foreign text and, by unearthing classical, biblical or other iconographic hypertexts, Irwin highlights the essentially hybrid nature of these illustrations.

However, the survey produced in Visions of the Jinn is not a comprehensive one and the selection of images remains problematically framed. Indeed, it is based on personal tastes rather than on a scientific overview. Considering the very transnational nature of the text, this is perhaps to be regretted.

The Arabian Nights

The book equally lacks a clear presentation of the holdings of the Arcadian Library. Furthermore, Visions of the Jinn does not provide a thorough study of the evolving nature of the interactions between the different versions of the text and their illustrations. He does mention it once in his introduction but never tackles the issue again. Equally, the question of the constitution of an iconographic corpus and of its subsequent subversions is not addressed.

It is also to be regretted that Robert Irwin never develops on the political context in which these images circulated. Nor does he address the question of their ideological underpinnings in colonial, imperial or postcolonial times.

The Arabian Nights: a thousand and one illustrations

Such an omission, especially when dealing with a text which has long been viewed in Europe as a source of information on Arab culture and as the epitome of Arab literature, is puzzling, if not disturbing. Further Readings This publication Visions of the Jinn feeds into a long and rich tradition of literary studies on the Nights. Indeed, monographs dealing with different aspects of the text are published every year. It is there to instruct or inspire? I especially like the last story, Sinbad stories, the story of the blind begger, and at least 8 other stories probably more.

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Very fun and many life lessons but not every story has a moral and some morals are subtle. Dec 12, Ishan rated it it was amazing. Its fun revisiting fables you read during childhood. May 28, Deborah Gaspar rated it really liked it. A classic. Also full of more that are fun, The Hunchback's Tale is one of my favorite stories within a story. And all this wrapped up and connected by the narrator, Scheherazade, who is telling the story to the Sultan in it's own over-story.

Search Usborne

Good Book. I really liked the old part, the original. But the New Arabian Nights I just had such a hard time connecting to. I really didn't get the story the same way I did with the first part. Some stories were interesting but some were very boring Had to abandon it half way Tamar rated it it was amazing Apr 06, Bobbi rated it really liked it Feb 10, Francesca Williams rated it it was amazing Jul 25, Cathy L. Valderrama rated it it was amazing Sep 02, Dawn rated it really liked it Apr 25, Ashley Kosik rated it liked it Jun 26, Andreas Kodewitz rated it liked it Feb 27, Jaskanwar Singh rated it liked it Jun 05, Melissa Clyne rated it did not like it Jan 19, Micah rated it it was ok Jun 26, Daniel Bjorklund rated it it was amazing Sep 25, Yurika rated it really liked it Mar 06, Brian Kelly rated it it was ok Mar 10, Dan rated it it was amazing Aug 24, Toby rated it liked it Aug 01, Luke Enkosky rated it really liked it Jun 11, Sherry West rated it it was amazing Apr 09, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.


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  7. About Andrew Lang. Andrew Lang. Andrew Gabriel Lang was a prolific Scots man of letters. He was a poet, novelist, and literary critic, and a contributor to anthropology. He now is best known as a collector of folk and fairy tales.


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    7. The wild and beautiful landscape of his childh Andrew Gabriel Lang was a prolific Scots man of letters. The wild and beautiful landscape of his childhood had a great effect on the young Lang and inspired in him not only a life-long love of the outdoors but a fascination with local folklore and history. The Borders is an area rich in history and he grew up surrounded by tales of Bonnie Prince Charlie and Robert the Bruce. Amongst his many later literary achievements was his Short History of Scotland.

      A gifted student and avid reader, Lang went to the prestigious St Andrews University now holding a lecture series in his honour every few years and then to Balliol College, Oxford. He would later write about the city in Oxford: Brief Historical and Descriptive Notes , published in Moving to London at the age of 31, already a published poet, he started working as a journalist.

      His dry sense of humour, writing style and huge array of interests made him a popular editor and columnist and he was soon writing for The Daily Post , Time magazine and Fortnightly Review. It was whilst working in London that he met and married his wife Leonore Blanche Alleyne. The Fairy Books Amongst the most famous of Andrew Lang books are The Rainbow Fairy Books , growing from Lang's interest in myths and folklore which continued to grow as he and Leonore travelled through France and Italy hearing local legends.

      In the late 19th century, interest in the native fairy tales of Britain had declined and there were very few books recounting them for young readers. In fact fairy tales and magical stories in general were being attacked by some educationalists as being harmful to children. It was to challenge this notion that Lang first began collecting fairy stories for the first of his coloured fairy books, The Blue Fairy Book. Whilst other folklorists collected stories directly from source, Lang set about gathering those stories which had already been recorded. This gave him time to collect a much greater breadth of fairy tales from all over the world, most from well-known writers such as the Brothers Grimm, Madame d'Aulnoy and others from less well known sources.

      Whilst Lang also worked as the editor for his work and is often credited as its sole creator, the support of his wife, who transcribed and organised the translation of the text, was essential to the work's success. The Blue Fairy Book was published in to wide acclaim.

      The Arabian Nights: The Book of The 1001 Nights, Plus Other Folio Society Books

      The beautiful illustrations and magical tales captivated the minds of children and adults alike. The success of the first book allowed Lang and Leonore to carry on their research and in they published The Red Fairy Book , which drew on even more sources and had a much larger print run.

      Between and they published twelve collections of fairy tales, each with a different coloured binding, with a total of stories collected, edited and translated. The books are credited with reviving interest in folklore, but more importantly for Lang, they revolutionised the Victorian view of fairy tales - inspiring generations of parents to begin reading them to children once more.