Specimens of Arabian Poetry

From The Earliest Time To The Extinction Of The Khaliphat, With Some Account Of The Authors.

CARLYLE, J. D.

CARLYLE, J. D. Specimens of Arabian Poetry From The Earliest Time To The Extinction Of The Khaliphat, With Some Account Of The Authors.

Printed by John Burges, Printer To The University, 1796.

First edition, second issue (as usual), with the cancel title page. 4to in halves (232 x 185mm). Bound in contemporary half calf over marbled paper-covered boards. All edges speckled blue. Printed on thick paper in Arabic and Roman type, ornamental tailpieces throughout, one sheet of musical notation, errata leaf bound to rear. A fine copy, beautifully well-preserved in a contemporary binding, free from repair or restoration. Some very light wear to the joints, but internally remarkable clean and crisp.

Perhaps Carlyle's most significant contribution to Orientalist scholarship, this work prints sixty poems by Arabic poets, often from MSS, before providing the English translation and biographies of the authors. Commenting on the translations, the orientalist Stanley Lane-Poole wrote that their "certain elegance of diction is more striking than the fidelity to the spirit and colour of the originals".
ESTC records just three copies issued with the 1795 title page, the vast majority being issued with the cancel title page dated 1796. All fifteen examples recorded at aucton in the last century bore the 1796 title page. A second edition, entirely reset, was issued by Cadell and Davies in 1810.

PROVENANCE: William Markham (1760-1815) with his bookplate to the front pastedown. Markham served as Private Secretary to Warren Hastings during his Governship of Bengal, and was later instrumental in Hastings's acquittal following an eight year impeachment trial.

Stock ID: 41020

£1,250.00

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