Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Lion and the Carpenter... Arabian Nights...

The Arabian Nights -- one of the most famous series of stories / fables / fantasies / morality stories ever written. But no one actually knows when they were originally written, or even what language they came from. Persian? Arabic? something similar? Attributed to Shahrazade (various spellings abound, this is the spelling from this particular translation) and supposedly created over a period of years while the formidable lady tried to keep her head by keeping a cranky and easily bored king amused... the stories are timeless and well developed and little nuggets of wonderfulness, each in themselves and as a whole.

This particular volume is an over-sized, but thinnish picture book style edition which includes only a few of the stories. Illustrated throughout in black and white and full color by Sandro Nardini, the book was originally published in Italy. This copy is a possible (more like probable) 1st English Language edition. The pictures are great, the stories captivating and the book as a whole quite pleasant.

It makes me want to dive in and read the whole 2001 Arabian Nights.... (with the Maxfield Parrish Illustrations, of course).

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