Countless editions of the Arabian Nights have been published over the centuries. Few works of literature have been published in such diverse editions. The Nights have appeared as magazine serials, magazine articles, comic books, children's books, adult books and even erotica. The list below is, of course, not complete, but it contains the editions we know about personally.

 

The Arabian Nights Entertainments, carefully revised....to which is added a selection of new tales, now first translated from the Arabic originals. Also, an introduction and notes...by Jonathan Scott LL. D...with engravings from paintings by Smirke in six volumes.

All edges marbled, 12mo., full calf, decorative spines.
Published by Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown,  London,  1811

Dalziels' Illustrated Arabian Nights' Entertainments, the Text Revised and Emendated throughout by H.W. Dulcken, Ph.D., with upwards of two hundred illustrations by eminent artists. Engraved by The Brothers Dalziel, London, Ward, Lock, and Tyler.

pp 822, 4to., yellow covers.
Published by Ward, Lock, and Tyler,  London,  1864
Illustrated by Arthur Boyd Houghton

Originally published in 21 parts, from January, 1864 to September 1865. Illustrated by A.B. Houghton, J.D. Watson, J. Tenniel, T. Dalziel, E. Dalziel, J.G. Pinwell, J.E. Millais.

The Arabian Nights' Entertainments, with upwards of an hundred illustrations on wood drawn by S.J. Groves

Green cloth boards with gilt decorated spine, pp 540, adverts. pp 27, 8vo.
Published by William P. Nimmo,  Edinburgh,  1868
Illustrated by S. J. Groves
The first edition, in two volumes, was published by Nimmos in 1865. This edition has a solid feel to it, the thick board covers covered in fake green leather, giving it a respectable and a value for money appearance. William Philip Nimmo (1831-1883), worked as a bookseller in Edinburgh from 1855 until his death. His apprentice, Alexander Hay (1845-1899), beame a partner and after Nimmo's death he continued as the senior partner in the firm of Nimmo, Hay and Mitchell.

The Arabian Nights' Entertainments with numerous illustrations by Frederick Gilbert

green cloth boards, pp. 364, 8vo.
Published by John Dicks,  London,  1868

John Dicks was one of a number of 19th century British publishers who specialised in cheap books and 'Penny Dreadfuls'. John Dicks also published plays, everything from burlesques to London productions as well as a weekly magazine Bow Bells advertised as "the cheapest in the world" for one penny. The Arabian Nights with green cloth boards, was part of a cheap one shilling series (the price 1/- in gilt on the spine) consisting of Shakespeare, Byron, Scott, Longfellow, Burns, Milton and Goldsmith all illustrated by Frederick Gilbert.

The Arabian Nights' Entertainments, revised and annotated by James Mason with 350 engraved illustrations, 12 by Gustave Dore

pp 266, extra crown 4to, green cloth gilt decorated bevelled boards
Published by Cassell Petter & Galpin,  ,  1874
Illustrated by Gustave Dore

John Cassell (1817-1865) founded the publishing firm of Cassell & Co. He was the self educated son of an innkeeper, apprenticed to a joiner, arriving in London in 1836. In ten years he was a merchant, also working for the temperance cause, becoming an author and publisher. In 1859 he entered into partnership with Messrs. Petter and Galpin with the aim of supplying reading matter for the working class. They issued numerous editions of standard works, as well as the Working Man's Friend and Popular Educator.

The Thousand and One Nights, commonly called in England, the Arabian Nights' Entertainments, A new translation from the Arabic with copious notes by Edward William Lane, illustrated by many hundred engravings on wood from original designs by William Harvey, a new edition edited by his nephew Edward Stanley Poole in Three Volumes

8vo., decorated green cloth boards
Published by Chatto & Windus,  Piccadilly,  1883
Illustrated by William Harvey
Translated by Edward William Lane

The first edition was issued in monthly parts between 1839-1841before being published in three volumes by C. Knight & Co, London, later two editions by John Murray appeared and another by Bickers & Son, London in 1877. By the end of the century and beyond Edward Lane's translation was being illustrated by other artists, notably, Stanley Wood who was employed by Chatto & Windus.

In 1930 the company re-issued the original Lane/Harvey edition on 1388 pages, thereby losing 446 pages out of the original three volumes. Edward William Lane (1801-1876) like Harvey, began life as an engraver. However, suffering ill health, Lane made his first journey to Egypt in 1825 where he made many sketches, explored the Nile and laid the foundations of his Arabic scholarship. He spent years in laborious research, finally producing his huge Arabic lexicon (1863-74). His translation of the Arabian Nights was intended for general reading so he eliminated any scurrilous inuendo, unlike Burton. He remains the only Arabist who maintained the stories were from the pen of one, or at most two people.

The Arabian Nights? Entertainments a new edition by the Rev. Geo. Fyler Townsend, M.A. with original illustrations and 16 chromolithographs

pp 560, gilt decorated blue cloth boards, 8vo
Published by Frederick Warne and Co.,  ,  1886

Many of the illustrations are drawn by German artists, e.g. G. Urlaub, also the Frenchman Janet Lange, some drawings just have initials, but there are a few in the distinctive hand of A.B. Houghton. Dalziel Brothers have done some of the engraving work, but most are by the German engraving firm of H. Kaezeberg.

From 1849 Frederick Warne (1825-1901) had been a partner in the firm of Routledge, Warne and Routledge, then founded his own publishing company in 1865. Following his retirement in 1896 his three sons took over the business. Warne published Nuttal's Standard Dictionary and The Chandos Classics, but it is through the works of Beatrix Potter, Peter Rabbit etc. and the company's famous determination to protect the copyright, that it is best known.

The Arabian Nights Entertainments with one hundred and fifty original illustrations drawn by Thomas B. Dalziel engraved by the Dalziel Brothers, plus six chromolithographs

aeg, 8vo, gilt and coloured decorated blue cloth boards
Published by George Routledge & Sons,  London,  1889
Illustrated by Thomas Bolton Septimus Dalziel

The first issue of this particular edition published 1877. This reissue was in the "Routledge six-shilling juvenile books" series advertised as "New Volumes in Novel Bindings". Routledge also offered in 1889 a Seven-and-Sixpenny Juvenile Book series including The Arabian Nights illustrated by F.A. Fraser, A.W. Cooper and others with chromo- lithographs printed by E. Nister of Nuremberg, and engravings by the Dalziel Brothers.

George Routledge (1812-1888) was an apprenticed bookseller in Carlisle founding his own publishing business in 1834, which eventually included his sons. The company was noted for its outstanding illustrators. By 1911 the firm had amalgamated with Charles Kegan Paul.

The Arabian Nights, Arranged by Helen Marion Burnside, illustrated by W. & F. Brundage and J. Willis Grey

pp 88, aeg, 4to.
Published by Raphael Tuck & Sons,  London,  1893
Illustrated by Frances Isabelle Brundage

Twelve full page chromolithographs by Frances and Will Brundage. Numerous black & white drawings and chapter headings by Jane Willis Grey.

By 1900 many American publishers were using these chromo-lithographs in various editions of the Arabian Nights with signatures deleted, e.g. Hurst & Co. New York; DeWolfe, Fiske & Co., Boston; Cronkey, Chicago. Raphael Tuck had published Christmas Cards from about 1870 and by 1893 began printing the postcards which brought the company most fame. During the 2nd War in 1940 the company building and its records were destroyed in the blitz. Helen Marion Burnside (1844-1923) poet and author.

Fairy Tales from the Arabian Nights. Edited and Arranged by E. Dixon illustrated by J.D. Batten

pp267, green cloth, teg, 8vo.
Published by J.M. Dent & Co,,  ,  1893
Illustrated by John Dixon Batten

Contains five full page photogravure reproductions, the remainder of the illustrations being zincographs, except the title page which is Dallastype. John Batten designed all the decorations and endpapers, also the green cloth boards decorated in gilt. The word "Arabian" is hyphenated.

More Fairy Tales from the Arabian Nights. Edited and Arranged by E. Dixon, illustrated by J.D. Batten

pp 256, green cloth, teg, 8vo.
Published by J.M. Dent & Co,  ,  1895
Illustrated by John Dixon Batten

Contains five full page photogravure reproductions, the remainder of the illustrations being zincographs, except the title page which is Dallastype. John Batten designed all the decorations and endpapers, also the green cloth boards decorated in gilt. The word "Arabian" is hyphenated.

The Arabian Nights Entertainments, selected and edited by Andrew Lang with illustrations by H.J. Ford

pp 424, aeg, with blue cloth gilt decorated cover, 8vo.
Published by Longmans, Green & Co.,  ,  1898
Illustrated by Henry Justice Ford

There are 32 full page black and white, and numerous smaller illustrations throughout. In 1724 Thomas Longman (1699-1755) took over the business of William Taylor (the publisher of Robinson Crusoe) at the sign of the "Ship" and the "Black Swan" in Paternoster Row. These premises were destroyed during the 2nd War.

Many family members worked for the company which published everyone from Scott to Conan Doyle, also periodicals like the Edinburgh Review (originally published by Archibald Constable in Scotland) and Longmans' Magazine.

Andrew Lang was a literary adviser for many years. Andrew Lang (1844-1912) Scottish man of letters, born at Selkirk, educated at St Andrews University and Balliol College, Oxford. He took a first class Classical degree and was elected a Fellow of Merton College. He came to general prominence with the publication of the Coloured Fairy Books, the Blue in 1889 down to the Olive in 1907. He produced much scholarly work in the realm of folk-lore as well as being a classical scholar of high standing. As an historian, Lang was keenly interested in mysteries. He brought ingenuity and scholarly accuracy to bear in his Mystery of Mary Stuart and contributed to the controversy surrounding the Man in the Iron Mask. He wrote constantly, lectured and edited periodicals. His version of the Arabian Nights remains in print.

The Arabian Nights' Entertainments with illustrations by Frederick Pegram

pp 472, 8vo, 16 illustrations
Published by Service & Paton,  London,  1898
Illustrated by Frederick Pegram

The Arabian Nights' Entertainments

pp251, 12mo, seventy illustrations, 20 colour
Published by Gilbert H. McKibbin,  New York,  1900
Manhatten Young Peoples' Library series, decorated cloth boards. Illustrations taken from many sources; 21 pirated from E.J. Batten's 2 volumes 1893 & 1895; several by Harvey, Dalziel, also the Geo. Fyler Townsend edition of 1866 and others.

Fairy Tales from the Arabian Nights, Edited and Arranged by E. Dixon, with forty-four illustrations by John D. Batten

pp 477, aeg, 8vo.
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons,  New York,  1907
Illustrated by John Dixon Batten

The original Lemercier photogravure of "The Enchanted Horse" has been redone in colour for a frontis and colour pastedown on the red cloth gilt decorated boards. This copy was sold by Brentanos, Washington D.C. Joseph Malaby Dent (1849-1926) a bookbinder, who after establishing a bindery in London in 1888 and was soon known as a publisher of notable editions in attractive formats.

Following travels abroad Dent became interested in the publishing of illustrated books and was a shrewd discoverer of talent among those being Aubrey Beardsley, Arthur Rackham and J.D. Batten. The company's famous Temple Classics first appeared in 1896 under the editorship of Israel Golancz.

The Arabian Nights, Edited with an Introduction by W.H.D. Rouse, Ltt.D., M.A., illustrated by Walter Paget

pp 328, aeg, 8vo, pale blue cloth bevelled boards, decorated colour and gilt
Published by Ernest Nister, London; & E.P Dutton & Co.,New York,  London and New York,  1907
Illustrated by Walter Paget

Also 12 full page black and white and numerous vignettes. This is a German edition published in English. In the late nineteenth century Ernest Nister was one of the best known and most innovative makers of movable and popup books for children with their colourful chromolithographs. He began his company in Nuremburg, Bavaria, then a centre of German toy making.

Later Nister opened a London branch, where translations were prepared for the English market. Eventually he expanded the business to America, where Duttons in New York became his publisher. More examples of his chromolithographs can be seen in the Thomas Dalziel edition of the Arabian Nights, published by Routledge.

The Arabian Nights illustrated by Rene Bull

pp 299, with 20 colour plates, mounted on stiff brown stock, 98B&W drawings, illustrated title page
Published by Dodd, Mead,  New York,  1912
Illustrated by Rene Bull

The first English edition was published by Constable & Co., London, also in 1912. Both the Dodd, Mead edition and the Constable were printed by T. & A. Constable, University of Edinburgh Press.

Archibald Constable (1774-1827) founded the Edinburgh Review in 1802 and was the first to publish the works of Walter Scott. The company failed with huge losses and was revived by Constable's son. In the 20th century the company also published the works of George Bernard Shaw.

The Arabian Nights, illustrated by Charles Folkard, with a preface by Gordon Home

pp 411, 8vo., with 12 colour plates and black and white vignettes
Published by A.& C. Black, Ltd,  London,  1913
Illustrated by Charles James Folkard

The brown cloth cover is decorated unusually with an ape smoking a hookah, from the History of the Second Calander. Adam Black (1784-1874) a bookseller in London and Edinburgh, founded his publishing house in 1826 with his nephew Charles. Purchased the copyright of Enclopaedia Britannica, Who's Who and Scott's Waverley Novels.

The Story of Prince Ahmed and the Fairy Perie Banou from the "Arabian Nights Entertainments" decorated by Charles Robinson

pp118, 8vo, illustrated with five colour plates, the frontis repeated as cover pastedown
Published by Gay and Hancock,  London,  1913

Published in the "Story Hour Series" for children with black and red line drawings priced at 1/-. The story is punctuated, but in keeping with the original William Lane translation, direct speech is not shown by quotation marks. This is the only version produced expressly for children that I have seen like this.

Princess Badoura, A Tale from the Arabian Nights, Retold by Laurence Housman illustrated by Edmund Dulac

pp113, 8vo, top edge green, green and gilt decorated white boards
Published by Hodder & Stoughton,  London,  1913
Illustrated by Edmund Dulac

Illustrated with 10 colour plates and decorated endpapers in green.

Children's Stories from the Arabian Nights, told by Rose Yeatman Woolf, illustrated by Harry G. Theaker

8vo, blue cloth boards, 12 colour plates and black and white vignettes
Published by Raphael Tuck & Sons Ltd.,  London,  1914

Edited with a forward by Capt. E. Vredenburg. Theaker was one of a number of illustrators who produced ordinary, unimaginative pictures for the children's book market and whose work is not enhanced by the paper it's printed on.

The Arabian Nights Entertainments, with illustrations by Milo Winter,

pp293, 8vo, with 16 colour plates, colour pastedown on green cloth cover
Published by Rand McNally & Co,  Chicago,  1914
Illustrated by Milo Winter

The Arabian Nights' Entertainment, Stories from The Thousand and One Nights Told for Young People by Martha A.L. Lane, illustrated by Ruby Winckler

pp 364, 12mo.
Published by Ginn & Co.,  Boston,  1915
Illustrated by Ruby Winckler

With 25 full page black & white line drawings and chapter heading vignettes, and decorated brown cloth cover

The Arabian Nights' Entertainments with over one hundred illustrations and decorations by Louis Rhead

pp 430, 8vo, containing one colour frontis, repeated on pastedown cover
Published by Harper & Brothers,  New York,  1916
Illustrated by Louis Rhead

Tales from the Arabian Nights with 48 coloured plates by A.E. Jackson,

pp 340, 8vo, with coloured pastedown on grey cloth boards
Published by Ward, Lock & Co.,  London & Melbourne,  1920
Illustrated by Albert Edward Jackson

The Arabian Nights, Tales from the Thousand and One Nights, illustrated by E.J. Detmold

pp.297, 8vo., with 12 colour plates
Published by Dodd, Mead & Company,  New York,  1925
Illustrated by Edward Julius Detmold

The first English edition printed by Hodder & Stoughton a year before in 1924 contained pp 240.

The Magic Horse from The Arabian Nights illustrated with designs by Ceri Richards

pp27, 4to,
Published by Victor Gollancz Ltd.,  London,  1930
Illustrated by Ceri Giraldus Richards
Translated by Edward William Lane

Five full page illustrations, three small, black morocco boards with small red lettering piece in gilt, top left corner, printed in England and Germany, in an edition of 495 copies of which 250 reserved for distribution in America by Random House Inc. New York. The translation is by Edward W. Lane. Victor Gollancz (1893-1967) started his publishing house in 1927, having worked first for Benn Brothers. He was a socialist, involved with the Left Book Club, and worked to resist the rise of Fascism in the 1930s, publishing George Orwell before the war also helping Jewish refugees. He helped form the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in 1958.

The Unknown Paintings of Kay Nielsen edited by David Larsen


Published by Pan Books,  London,  1977

A collection of pictures prepared by the artist between 1918 and 1924 for an unpublished edition of The Thousand and One Nights.

The Arabian Nights, Their Best Known Tales, Edited by Kate Douglas Wiggan and Nora A.Smith

pp 344, 8vo, 12 colour plates
Published by Charles Scribner's Sons,  New York,  1992
Illustrated by Maxfield Parrish

The text has been reset in the original Scotch Roman typeface, the same as used in the original edition of 1909. The illustrations are printed from new plates reproduced from the paintings presently owned privately and in public galleries. Charles Scribner (1821-71) founded his publishing firm in 1826. After a number of partnerships and Scribner's death his three sons, Blair, Charles and Arthur reformed the company with its present title.

Scribner's Magazine was started in 1886, the company also publishing Henry James, Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. Kate Douglas Wiggan (1856-1923) author of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, and her sister, Nora A. Smith (1859-1934) were innovators in early childhood education and together founded a kindergarten training school in California.

Text © Copyright 2005, Rob Hafernik and Margaret Renault, All Rights Reserved. Feedback