Les Mille et une Nuits, by GALLAND, Antoine (1646-1715).

GALLAND, Antoine (1646-1715).

Les Mille et une Nuits, Contes Arabes, traduits en François par M. Galland. Nouvelle Édition Corrigée. Tome Premier [-Sixième]. A Paris, Compagnie des Libraires, 1774

New Edition. Six volumes, 12mo (167 x 92 mm), pp. xvi, 350; xii, 358; viii, 419; [iv], 369; [iv], 416; [iv], 382, [2], in contemporary mottled calf, heavily worn, flat spines gilt in compartments with two tone brown morocco labels lettered and numbered in gilt, spines badly chipped at extremities, volume 1 severely damaged, surface wear and abrasion to most boards, red edges: a once attractive but now modest copy.

A rather damaged copy of this scarce late edition of this popular collection of oriental tales translated by Antoine Galland, scholar, orientalist and archaeologist. First published between 1704 and 1717, Galland’s translation was hugely successful and became the basis for all other editions and adaptations in France and throughout Europe right through to the end of the eighteenth century. It had a wide impact on European literature and can be seen as a precursor to the romantic movement: it was in Galland’s version that Coleridge and de Quincey read The Thousand and One Nights.
At the age of twenty-four Galland went to Constantinople at the invitation of the French ambassador, de Nointel, in order to study the faith of the Greeks. He remained in Constantinople, as de Nointel’s secretary, until 1675, during which time he made extensive literary studies and perfected his knowledge of the Arabic, Persian and Turkish languages. He collaborated with Barthélemy d’Herbolet de Molainville on his Bibliotheque Orientale, which he finished after the death of its author. He was Professor of Arabic at the Collège de France.
Although there were numerous editions of this work in several languages, many of them, including the present one, are fairly uncommon. Janine Miquel-Ravenel has pointed out the surprising rarity of some of Galland’s works: ‘le paradoxe que constitue la rareté des publications imprimées d'A. Galland’ ('A la rencontre d'Antoine Galland', p. 28).

See Cioranescu XVII, 32146-32147.

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