November 16, 2000
7:33 AM   Subscribe

Going out to all you literary scholars out there: does anyone know if it's possible to get hold of Sir Richard Francis Burton's translation of the Arabian Nights - without shelling out four-figure sums?
posted by Mocata (8 comments total)
That's not counting the in-print selections from it you can find at Amazon - I'm after the original text but don't have enough bibliographical knowledge to be able to distinguish between the many reprints you can find through, eg, the Advanced Book Exchange.
posted by Mocata at 7:37 AM on November 16, 2000

Thanks, dude - I'll take a look.
posted by Mocata at 10:22 AM on November 16, 2000

Modern editions, from what I can tell, are selections taken from the original edition (which extended to sixteen volumes). There's a Penguin selection from 1997, for instance, but the last complete edition of the Burton translation was published in 1966 by Khayat Books of Beirut...
posted by holgate at 12:00 PM on November 16, 2000

If anyone can help you, Powell's can. The used book section at the main store has to be seen to be believed; you can browse, and it is immense. When I lived in Portland, I found many treasures there. I recommend simply writing them and asking, because their online database may not be complete.

posted by Steven Den Beste at 12:36 PM on November 16, 2000

If you poke around Bibliofind for long enough, you might be able to find a deal -- off the first page, I saw the complete set being offered for $750. Or you might luck out like my friends Karima and Duncan, who found a set for $100. Or you could make friends with the people at the nearest university library, if you just want it for scholarly purposes. (Side note: This is the sort of thing that would be really great for Project Gutenberg to do, but at 17 volumes, I'm not surprised that no one has tackled it. They have Andrew Lang's version, at least.)
posted by snarkout at 2:23 PM on November 16, 2000

Thanks very much to all of you - very helpful. I've now found a full text for under £80 - although I'm now going to have to get it shipped over from the States.

It's the salacious footnotes I'm really after...
posted by Mocata at 9:04 AM on November 17, 2000

Mind telling us where you found that set, Mocata? When I win the lottery and have a hidden mountain fortress, I'll want a full set to go along with my leatherbound Procopius' Secret History and various editions of Pliny.
posted by snarkout at 1:47 PM on November 17, 2000

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