THE ARABIAN NIGHTS ENTERTAINMENTS. Carefully Revised and Occasionally Corrected From Arabic. To which is added, a Selection of New Tales, now first translated from the Arabic originals. Also, an Introduction and Notes, illustrative of the Religion, Manners and Customs, of the Mahummedans. With engravings from paintings by Smirke.
Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown. London. 1811, 1811.
FIRST SCOTT EDITION. Six volumes. 8vo. (7.4 x 4.8 inches). Illustrated with six full page copper engraved frontipieces, after paintings by Robert Smirke, which were originally published in Edward Forster's translation of this work in 1802. The plates were specially re-engraved by J. Fittler, C. Warren, A. Raimbach (x2), A. Smith, and R. Golding for this new translation. Some foxing to the frontispiece illustrations and, very much lighter, to just the first couple of leaves of each volume otherwise a clean, bright set in fine early nineteenth century leather bindings of full burgundy straight grained Morocco. Spines with raised bands, each with gilt piping. Compartments ruled, lettered and decorated in gilt. Boards with triple ruled and elaborate decorative borders. Gilt floral roll on the turn-ins. Board edges with decorative gilt tooling to the corners. Plain brown endpapers. All edges gilt. Red silk page markers still present in each volume. Armorial bookplate of Jonathan Toke (1799-1866) - A Justice of the Peace of Godington, Kent, on front pastedown of each volume. A little rubbing to the extremities and some minor uniform fading to the spines but overall this is a very good, attractively bound set. A very attractive set of the First printing of this important edition, a major undertaking by Orientalist Jonathan Scott (1753-1829). 'Scott's scholarly bent was apparent in his plans to produce a new translation of the Edward Wortley Montagu manuscript of the Arabian Nights, and he provided a description of its contents in William Ouseley's Oriental Collections (1797). In the event he contented himself with a substantial revision of Antoine Galland's French translation (1704–17), making occasional corrections from the Arabic. In 1811 Scott published his Arabian Nights Entertainment in six volumes, the sixth volume entirely occupied by tales translated for the first time from the Montagu manuscript. This constituted the first literary translation of the Arabian Nights, providing a critical introduction and copious annotation of the Muslim religion and customs.' - ODNB.