N.p.: Privately Printed by The Burton Club, 1900. Item #03412
‘Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night’
With 114 Illustrations by Various Artists
Finely Bound by Bayntun of Bath ca. 1920
[ARABIAN NIGHTS]. The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night. A Plain and Literal Translation of The Arabian Nights Entertainment. With Introduction Explanatory Notes on the Manners and Customs of Moslem Men and a Terminal Essay upon the History of The Nights. [Translated and Annotated] by Richard F. Burton. [n.p.]: Printed by the Burton Club for Private Subscribers only: [n.d., ca. 1903].
The Burton Club Edition. Limited to 1,000 sets (this being # 862). Seventeen octavo volumes (9 1/4 x 6 3/8 inches; 236 x 160 mm.). (Ten volumes of The Thousand and One Nights and seven volumes of The Supplemental Nights). With a frontispiece portrait and one hundred and thirteen plates.
Bound ca. 1920 by Bayntun of Bath, in contemporary three-quarter red morocco over red cloth boards ruled in blind. Spines decoratively lettered and tooled in gilt in compartments, top edge gilt, others uncut, marbled endpapers. A fine set.
The plates include 70 by Letchford, 17, by Laluze, 10 by Batten 7 by Gavarni and 10 others by different artists. These illustrations form an interesting collection of the works of English and French artists, whose styles greatly vary.
"The Burton Club edition consisted of seventeen volumes instead of the original sixteen, the extra volume being formed by splitting the large third Supplemental volume into two separate volumes of equal size with the rest." (Penzer, p.126).
The original Benares: Kamashastra Society edition was published in ten volumes in 1885 and was followed in 1886-1888 by the six volumes of 'Supplemental Nights'. This original sixteen volume 'Benares' edition was published without illustrations.
The Arabian Nights’ Entertainments is “a collection of ancient Persian-Indian-Arabian tales, originally in Arabic, arranged in its present form about 1450, probably in Cairo. The collection is also known as A Thousand and One Nights. Although the stories are discrete in plot, they are unified by Scheherazade, the supposed teller; she postpones her execution by telling her husband Schahriah, a story night after night, without revealing the climax until the following session…Sir Richard Burton’s monumental version…was issued only to subscribers by the Kamashastra Society of Benares in 1885-86. Among the more recent editions is [one] by Powys Mathers” (Benét’s Reader’s Encyclopedia). The most popular stories include “Aladdin,” “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves,” and “Sinbad the Sailor.”
Penzer, An annotated bibliography of Sir Richard Francis Burton, pp. 126-130.