Saturday, September 22, 2007

An Arabian Nights Concordance

A Revision of Kirby and Eliséef’s Lists of the Stories contained in the various editions of The 1001 Nights

[Edmond Dulac: "The City" (1907)]

During her 1001 nights, Scheherazade – or Sháhrazád[1], or Schahrazade[2] – tells over two hundred stories of varying lengths. It's difficult to be more specific about the number, not only because so many tales are nested inside others (in most cases told as anecdotes by the characters themselves), but also because there is no consensus of opinion on which stories should legitimately be included in the collection. Decisions about this tend to be made on an arbitrary basis – enshrining some version of the book, whether Eastern or Western, as a more-or-less canonical text.

Thus E. W. Lane (1838-41) takes the Bulaq Arabic edition of 1835 as his received text, and excludes the ‘fugitive stories’[3] of Antoine Galland’s 1704-17 translation as irrelevant additions. John Payne (1882-89) and Sir Richard Burton (1885-88) translate the 1839-42 Macnaghten edition, which follows the same Egyptian manuscript tradition as Bulaq, but they are liberal enough to include stories from other versions (including Galland’s) in supplementary volumes.

In this they are followed by translators such as Cary Von Karwath (1906-14) and Enno Littmann (1921-28), both of whom add “Aladdin” (193)[4] and “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” (195) to the Macnaghten text. Husain Haddawy, in his Norton translation (1990), has come full circle in translating Muhsin Mahdi’s 1984 critical edition of Galland’s original Syrian manuscript, which he is pleased to claim as:

a coherent and precise work of art that, unlike other versions, is like a restored icon or musical score, without the added layers of paint or distortions, hence, as close to the original as possible. (Haddawy, 1992, xv)
This is at least a ‘coherent and precise’ point of view, but it is promptly contradicted by J. E. Bencheikh in his Gallimard translation (1991). He states that the conflated text of Galland’s “Camaralzaman” – or “Qamar Az-Zaman” (21) – which he has established:

souligne l’aspect artificiel, voire l’inutilité de la traduction du seul texte établi par Mahdi. Car aucun des trois ensembles utilisés, édition Macnaghten, édition Mahdi et manuscrits complémentaires ne peut se passer des autres. (Bencheikh, Miquel & Bencheikh, 1991b, 2 : 10)

[ … underlines the artificial nature, even the lack of point in translating only the text established by Mahdi. Because none of the three recensions used, the Macnaghten edition, the Mahdi edition, or their associated manuscripts is sufficient without the others.]
What, then, is one to think? My own solution is to try imagining The Thousand and One Nights as a framework which can contain almost any concatenation of stories – not so much an anthology as a dramatic realisation of the story-teller, Scheherazade’s dilemma: a potential book which can never be entirely realised by any edition or translation, however pared-down or capacious.

Its origins, after all, lie in a translation from the lost Persian Hazār Afsāna (or Thousand Nights) which may or may not have resembled the Arabic texts we know. This absence of a clear point of departure makes it apparent that it is by the frame-story alone that one can recognise a new version of the Thousand and One Nights – and, as a corollary, that it would simply not reflect our culture’s sense of the book to attempt a more restrictive definition.

Be that as it may, the first practical step must be an accurate idea of which stories appear in each of the various texts, and with this in mind I have thought it worthwhile to compile this concordance of the contents of the principal versions. I should begin, however, with a word about my precursors in this task. It would have been impossibly onerous without them.

William Forsell Kirby (1844-1912), then working as an assistant in the Zoological Department of the British Museum (Black, 1953, p. 400), was invited by Sir Richard Burton to include his “Contributions to the Bibliography of the Thousand and One Nights, and Their Imitations, with a Table Showing the Contents of the Principal Editions and Translations of the Nights” in the tenth volume of the latter’s privately printed A Plain and Literal Translation of the Arabian Nights’ Entertainments, Now Entituled The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, with Introduction, Explanatory Notes on the Customs of Moslem Men and a Terminal Essay upon the History of The Nights (1885, 10: 465-531).

Kirby’s previous publications had lain mostly in the field of Natural History, especially Entomology, and would eventually include both a Manual of European Butterflies (1862) and a five-volume Handbook of Lepidoptera (1894-97). He was, however, as this fact might suggest, an inveterate cataloguer and systematiser – a taste which he turned towards the Oriental and Northern Folk-lore as well as Science. Perhaps the achievement for which he is best remembered today is having made the first English translation of the Kalevala from the original Finnish (1907).

His most important previous work, as far as the Nights is concerned (with the possible exception of Ed-Dimiryaht, an Oriental Romance, published with other poems in 1869), was The New Arabian Nights, being tales omitted by Galland and Lane (1882). This book performed the useful task of making available to the English reader a number of stories hitherto only accessible in the German translations of Maximilian Habicht (1824-25) and Gustav Weil (1838-41).

His contributions to the bibliography of the Nights were continued in “Additional Notes on the Bibliography of the Thousand and One Nights,” included in the final volume of Burton’s Supplemental Nights to the Book of the Thousand and One Nights: with Notes Anthropological and Explanatory, 6 vols (1886-88, 16: 356-84).[5]

Both of these essays were reprinted, without significant revision[6], in Leonard C. Smither’s bowdlerised “Library Edition” of Burton’s translation (1897), which purported to be “the most complete English edition of The Nights that can ever be published, the extreme grossness of the few words and passages omitted absolutely precluding their appearance” (Burton, 1897, 1: vii).

His Table of Concordances – unfortunately in the truncated 1897 form - has recently been reprinted, in isolation and without revision, in Peter L. Caracciolo’s The Arabian Nights in English Literature (1988, pp. 289-315).

Mere reprinting is not really satisfactory, however. Not only did Kirby himself suggest revisions to the 1885 Table in his 1888 “Additional Notes,” but a great deal of his original work was outdated by the appearance of the Supplemental Nights themselves. The first two volumes of this supplement to Burton’s translation copy John Payne’s Tales from the Arabic of the Breslau and Calcutta (1814-’18) Editions of the Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night … (1884), and the third is devoted to Galland’s fugitive stories, but after that the match becomes less exact.

For consistency’s sake it seems desirable at the very least to replace the orthography of the titles in the latter part of Kirby’s list (taken mainly from Payne) with titles from Burton’s translation, but to do this properly it is also necessary to match up the two sets of contents more accurately than has hitherto been done.[7]

In some ways it might seem easier to begin the whole task over again, but this would be to squander the continuing worth of Kirby’s work. He does make errors (though they are few and far between), but he has made an honest attempt to list all the stories in all the various versions of the Nights available to him. I have therefore preferred to keep his Table as my template, and to preserve his numbers for facility of cross-reference. The twentieth century has added a good deal to our knowledge of the subject, but there is still room for such an epitome of the knowledge of the nineteenth century. The real deficiency of his work is that it confines itself to volume numbers alone, without page references.

This deficiency at least is rectified by Nikita Eliséef’s Thèmes et motifs des Mille et Une Nuits: Essai de Classification, published in Beirut in 1949. My knowledge of Eliséef’s background is restricted to the following, which comes from Dr. Sviatislav Podstovsky of Columbia University’s Avery Library:

… a surviving friend, now 91 years old, [recounts] that there were two bothers Aleseev who had a famous restaurant in Moscow before the Revolution. Yes, the famous Aleseev Brothers Gastronom. They both went to Paris where they studied. The other brother became the director of a Far Eastern Museum in Paris, while Nikita went to Damascus where he worked as an Arabic philogist at a French institute that employed him for research. During WWII he became active as the director of that institute and later returned to Paris.” (Peter James Sinnott, private communication, 26/7/95)
Eliséef’s scholarly work attempts to provide a key to the motifs in the Nights along the lines of Stith Thompson’s famous Motif-Index of Folk Literature (1932-36). Its most permanently valuable feature, though, is probably the detailed “table des concordances” (Eliséef, 1949, pp. 190-205) included by him as a necessary guide to the locations of the various stories he refers to throughout.

Two points should, however, be noted about this table:

1.As Eliséef himself acknowledges, the references in it come mainly from the four volumes devoted to the Nights in Victor Chauvin’s Bibliographie des ouvrages arabes (1900-1905). As a result, there are many errors of transcription, and only a few of the texts appear to have been checked independently.

2. It includes only the main, ‘canonical’ stories with a few additions from Galland and Breslau, and thus makes no attempt to equal the comprehensiveness of Kirby. The references to Burton’s Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night employ the 1885 pagination, while the references to the Supplemental Nights follow Chauvin’s employment of the 1897 text, which leads one to suppose that Eliséef had access to the first of these books but not the second. It is only, however, by deductions of this kind that one can determine which of the editions he lists had actually been seen by him, and which were copied from Chauvin.
While Eliséef cannot always be trusted on details, then, he provides a better model than Kirby in terms of methodology. Each of the stories on his list is given a “Night” reference (keyed to Macnaghten’s edition of the Arabic text), a “Chauvin” number which enables one to locate it in the latter’s rather clumsy alphabetical system, and a clear volume and page reference. He also provides fuller bibliographical details (though not full enough) of the editions and translations he is using. All in all, a combination of the two lists – the completeness of Kirby against the systematisation and utility of Eliséef – seems to make a good deal of sense.

So, put simply, that’s what I’ve done.

Each story in my listing begins with [in square brackets] its number in Eliséef’s concordance, then (in parentheses) its number in Kirby’s table, then the title under which it can be found in Burton’s translation. I then give a “Night” reference, keyed to the edition in which the story first appeared or is most conveniently found, followed by volume and page references to the most crucial texts.

My bibliographical citation of the editions used is far fuller than Kirby or Eliséef’s, and I have tried to make it clear whether each text has been consulted directly or through intermediaries. I have also included some more recent translations (Dawood, Bencheikh, Haddawy) which have appeared since the publication of Eliséef’s book. The Table of Concordances itself is followed by a list of abbreviations and some textual notes.

The real purpose of this exercise is to provide an agreed-upon set of reference numbers which can be applied to the stories in any version of the Nights. I have therefore added additional numbers after Kirby’s (262) to include extra stories from Chavis and Cazotte’s Suite des Mille et une Nuits (1788-89), and Dr J. C. Mardrus’s syncretic but entertaining Livre des Mille et une Nuits (1899-1904).

I have also provided a page and volume reference, as well as the number for each story, from Chauvin’s Bibliographie, as it seems to me to be under-utilised as a mine of information on all aspects of the Nights. My Bibliography includes only those works which I have been able to consult directly, rather than reproducing all of the citations in the Key to the Concordance and its accompanying explanatory notes.

[Edmond Dulac: "The Ebony Horse" (1907)]

Key to the Concordance

In his Thèmes et motifs des Mille et Une Nuits: Essai de Classification, Nikita Eliséef (1949, pp. 190-205) provides a detailed table of concordances – in 15 columns, with page and volume references – to the stories contained in the various editions and translations of The Thousand and One Nights then available to him. The titles of the stories, translated by him into French from the Macnaghten or Second Calcutta edition (1839-42), have been replaced here with titles from Burton’s standard English translation, The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, 16 vols (1885-88). Eliséef’s numbering scheme has also been supplemented by that employed by W. F. Kirby in his own far more complete concordance(included in Burton, 1885, 10: 514-31) giving volume references only to 22 different editions in 19 columns. I have also included, in a separate column, the classification numbers for the various stories from V. Chauvin’s Bibliographie des ouvrages arabes, (1900-05). I have relied on Eliséef and Chauvin’s authority for the listings from the Bulaq (A.H. 1251 = 1835), First Calcutta (1814-18), Second Calcutta, and Breslau (1825-43) editions of the Arabic text, as well as the page numbers of the first edition of Galland’s translation, and have cross-checked these columns against Kirby. All of the other columns have been supplied by me from the original texts (for further details see the individual entries below).

On my first page I have put references to the main editions of the Arabic Text. Opposite, I have put in page references to the principal English translations. All editions have been arranged, as far as possible, in chronological order of first publication. Where a volume but not a page reference is available, I have used the following form: ‘I, ~’. The symbol ‘-’ is used to denote the absence of a story from the version in question. Some explanatory notes have been included at the end of the table.



This gives the full form of the titles in W. F. Kirby, “Contributions to the Bibliography of the Thousand and One Nights, and Their Imitations, with a Table Showing the Contents of the Principal Editions and Translations of the Nights,” The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, trans. Richard F. Burton, 10 vols (N.p. [= U.S.A.]: The Burton Club, n.d.) 10: 465-531; corrected where relevant by the titles from Richard F. Burton. Supplemental Nights to the Book of the Thousand and One Nights, 6 vols (N.p. [= U.S.A.]: The Burton Club, n.d.), and by W. F. Kirby, “Additional Notes on the Bibliography of the Thousand and One Nights,” Burton, 16: 356-84. Numbers in parentheses come from Kirby, up to (262); numbers in square brackets come from Nikita Eliséef, Thèmes et motifs des Mille et Une Nuits: Essai de Classification (Beyrouth: Institut Français de Damas, 1949) 190-205, up to [168]; titles in italics have been added to Kirby’s list from Eliséef, Burton or elsewhere, and have necessitated some renumbering, represented by spiked brackets {}. Numbers after (263) have been added by me.


Taken from the [CALC. 2] = Second Calcutta edition of the Arabic text (ed. W. H. Macnaghten, 1839-42), copied from Eliséef, 190-205 (Column 2). Supplemented by information on the [B] = Breslau, [C1] = First Calcutta, [WM] = Wortley-Montague Ms., and [A] = James Anderson Ms. texts from Burton, 10: 448-63 and 15: 497-504; on the [H] = Habicht translation from Tausend und Eine Nacht, Arabische Erzählungen, ed. Karl Martin Schiller, 12 vols (Leipzig: F. W. Hendel, 1926), [W] = Weil translation from Tausendundeine Nacht, ed. Inge Dreecken, 3 vols (Wiesbaden: R. Löwit, n.d.), and the [M] = Mardrus translation from Le Livre des Mille et une Nuits, ed. Marc Fumaroli, 2 vols (Paris: Robert Laffont, 1989).


Dr. Maximilian Habicht, and M. Heinrich Leberecht Fleischer, ed. Tausend und Eine Nacht Arabisch. Nach einer Handschrift aus Tunis. 12 vols. Breslau, 1825-43. References from Eliséef, 190-205 (Column 12); Kirby, 10: 514-31 (Column 14); Chauvin, 4: 12, 187-95 (Column 5) and Burton, 10: 450-56.


Alf layla wa-layla. 2 vols. Bulaq: A.H. 1251 [=1835]. References from Eliséef, 190-205 (Column 5); Chauvin, 4: 187-93 (Column 1) and Kirby, 10: 514-31 (Column 12).

V (E) – CALC. 2:

The Alif Laila, or Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night, Commonly Known as ‘The Arabian Nights’ Entertainments;’ Now, for the First Time, Published Complete in the Original Arabic, from an Egyptian Manuscript Brought to India by the Late Major Turner Macan, Editor of the Shah-Nameh. Ed. W. H. Macnaghten. 4 vols. Calcutta: W. Thacker, 1839-42. Checked against Eliséef, 190-205 (Column 7) and Kirby, 10: 514-31 (Column 17).

[C1] = Ahmed al-Shirwani, ed. The Arabian Nights’ Entertainments in the Original Arabic. Published under the Patronage of the College of Fort William. 2 vols. Calcutta: Pereira, 1814-18. References from Chauvin, 4: 17, 195-96; Kirby, 10: 514-31 (Column 21) and Burton, 10: 448-49.



VII (B) – CHAUVIN [Classification Numbers]:

Victor Chauvin. Bibliographie des ouvrages arabes ou relatifs aux arabes publiés dans l’Europe chrétienne de 1810 à 1885. 12 vols. Liège: H. Vaillant-Carmanne, Leipzig: O. Harrassowitz, 1892-1922. Vols IV-VII, IX, (1900-05).


Antoine Galland, trans. Les Mille et Une Nuit. Contes Arabes. Traduits en François par Mr. Galland, Professeur et Lecteur Royal en Langue Arabe et Antiquaire du Roy. 12 vols. 1704-17. Leide: J. de Wetstein, 1768. References from Victor Chauvin, Bibliographie des ouvrages arabes ou relatifs aux arabes publiés dans l’Europe chrétienne de 1810 à 1885, 12 vols (Liège: H. Vaillant-Carmanne, Leipzig: O. Harrassowitz, 1892-1922) 4: 28, 145-47 and Eliséef, 190-205 (Column 3), checked against Kirby, 10: 514-31 (Column 1).

[Ch] = Dom Chavis, trans. La Suite des Mille et une Nuits, Contes Arabes. Ed. M. Cazotte. Cabinet des Fées 38-41. 4 vols. Genève: Barde & Manget, 1788-89.

[Tr] = G. S. Trébutien, trans. Contes inédits des Mille et une Nuits, extraits de l’original arabe par M. J. de Hammer. 3 vols. Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1828. References from Eliséef, 190-205 (Column 4) and Chauvin, 4: 98-99, 150-53, checked against Kirby, 10: 495, 514-31 (Column 11).

IX (D) – LANE:

Edward William Lane, trans. The Thousand and One Nights, Commonly Called, in England, The Arabian Nights’ Entertainments. A New Translation from the Arabic, with Copious Notes. 3 vols. London: Charles Knight, 1839-41. Checked against Kirby, 10: 514-31 (Column 13) and Eliséef, 190-205 (Column 6).

X (E) – PAYNE:

John Payne, trans. The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night; Now First Completely Done into English Prose and Verse, from the Original Arabic. 9 vols. London: Villon Society, 1882-84.

[PI, II, III] = John Payne, trans. Tales from the Arabic of the Breslau and Calcutta (1814-’18) Editions of the Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night, Not Occurring in the Other Printed Texts of the Work; Now First Done into English. 3 vols. London: Villon Society, 1884.

[P2] = John Payne, trans. Alaeddin and the Enchanted Lamp; Zein ul Asnam and the King of the Jinn: Two Stories Done into English from the Recently Discovered Arabic Text. London: Villon Society, 1889.


Richard F. Burton. A Plain and Literal Translation of The Arabian Nights’ Entertainments, Now Entituled The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night: With Introduction Explanatory Notes on the Manners and Customs of Moslem Men and a Terminal Essay on the History of the Nights. 10 vols. Benares [= Stoke-Newington]: Kamashastra Society, 1885. N.p. [= Boston]: The Burton Club, n.d.

Richard F. Burton. Supplemental Nights to the Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night with Notes Anthropological and Explanatory. 6 vols. Benares [= Stoke-Newington]: Kamashastra Society, 1886-88. [7 vols].[8] N.p. [= Boston]: The Burton Club, n.d.


Edward Powys Mathers. The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night: Rendered from the Literal and Complete Version of Dr. J. C. Mardrus; and Collated with Other Sources. 1923. 8 vols. London: The Casanova Society, 1929.


Husain Haddawy, trans. The Arabian Nights: Based on the Text of the Fourteenth-Century Syrian Manuscript edited by Muhsin Mahdi. New York: Norton, 1990.

[Arabic Calligraphy]

for the Concordance to the 1001 Nights

List of Abbreviations

  • [Artin] = Artin Pacha, Contes populaires inédits de la Vallée du Nil (1895)
  • [B] = Breslau Edition, 12 vols (1825-43)
  • [Bulaq] = Bulaq Edition, 2 vols (1835)
  • [Burton] = Burton Translation, 16 vols (1885-88)
  • [C1] = First Calcutta Edition, 2 vols (1814-18)
  • [Calc. 2] = Macnaghten or Second Calcutta Edition, 4 vols (1839-42)
  • [Chauvin] = Victor Chauvin, Bibliographie des ouvrages arabes, 12 vols (1892-1922)
  • [Ch] = Chavis and Cazotte Translation, 4 vols (1788-89)
  • [D] = Les Dames de Bagdad, trans. André Miquel (1991)
  • [D & M] = Decourdemanche, Sottisier de Nasr-eddin-Hodja bouffon de Tamerlan (1878); Müllendorff, Die Schwänke des Nasr-ed-din & Buadem von Mehemed Tewfik
  • [Eliséef] = Nikita Eliséef, Thèmes et Motifs des Mille et Une Nuits (1949)
  • [Galland] = Galland Translation, 12 vols (1704-17)
  • [Garcin] = Garcin de Tassy, Allégories, récits poétiques et chants populaires (1876)
  • [Gerhardt] = Mia I. Gerhardt, The Art of Story-telling (1963)
  • [H] = Habicht Translation, 15 vols (1824-25)
  • [K/ ] = Chauvin, Bibliographie, vol. 2: “Kalîlah” (1897)
  • [Kirby] = W. F. Kirby, “Contributions to the Bibliography of the 1001 Nights” (1885)
  • [L/ ] = Chauvin, Bibliographie, vol. 3: “Louqmâne et les fabulistes” (1898)
  • [M] = Mardrus Translation, 16 vols (1899-1904)
  • [Mohdy] = J. J. Marcel, Contes du cheykh Él-Mohdy, 3 vols (1835)
  • [PI-III] = Tales from the Arabic, trans. John Payne, 3 vols (1884)
  • [P2] = Alaeddin & Zein ul Asnam, trans. John Payne (1889)
  • [Perron] = Perron, Femmes arabes avant et depuis l’islamisme (1858)
  • [Reinhardt] = Aboubakr Chraibi, Contes nouveaux des 1001 Nuits: Etude du manuscrit Reinhardt (1996)
  • [S] = Tales, Anecdotes and Letters, trans. Jonathan Scott (1800)
  • [S/ ] = Chauvin, Bibliographie, vol. 8: “Syntipas” (1904)
  • [Spitta] = Guillaume Spitta-Bey, Contes arabes modernes, recueillis et traduits (1883)
  • [T] = Felix Tauer, Neue Erzählungen aus den 1001 Nächten, 2 vols (1982)
  • [Tr] = Trébutien Translation, 3 vols (1828)
  • [W] = Weil Translation, 4 vols (1838-41)
  • [WM] = Wortley-Montague Ms., 7 vols (1764-65)
  • [ZER] = ‘Zotenberg’s Egyptian Recension’ (Paris, 1888)


(2/b) [2/b] “Tale of the Ensorcelled Prince”

Chauvin, 6: 56, makes it clear that he includes the entire second part of this story, from the fisherman’s gift of four multicoloured fish to the sultan, under the title “Les îles noires.” Kirby, however, following the example of Burton [XII], 1: 69, takes this division as the beginning of the “Ensorcelled Prince’s” own story. I follow Kirby’s demarcation in all the texts which I have examined personally.

(3/e1) [-] “Conclusion of the Story of the Porter and Three Ladies”

No number assigned by Kirby; no corresponding entries in Eliséef or Chauvin.

(6/d1) [-] “The End of the Tailor’s Tale”

No individual number assigned by Kirby, Eliséef or Chauvin.

(44) [35] “Harun Al-Rashid and the Damsel and Abu Nowas”

Kirby lists this story as contained in volume 2 of Weil's 1838-41 translation. Eliséef and Chauvin do not concur. I suspect that Kirby has confused it with “Harun Al-Rashid and the Three Poets” (68), and have therefore ignored this attribution.

(71) [62] “Harun Al-Rashid and the Two Slave-Girls”
(72) ["] “Harun Al-Rashid and the Three Slave-Girls”

Listed together as “Haroun ar-Rachid et ses esclaves-filles” in Eliséef.

(100) [-] “ How Abu Hasan brake Wind”

Missing in Eliséef. Introduced into the Calc. 2 text [V] from an unknown source by Burton [XII] (see 10: 460). The reprint of Kirby’s table in Leonard Smither's library edition of Burton's translation (8: 287-307) misses it out also, leaving this number unassigned.

(114) [105] “The Angel of Death with the Proud King and the Devout Man”
(115) [106] “The Angel of Death and the Rich King”
(116) [107] “The Angel of Death and the King of the Children of Israel”
(117) [108] “Iskander zu Al-Karnayn and a certain Tribe of Poor Folk”
(118) [109] “The Righteousness of King Anushirwan”
(119) [110] “The Jewish Kazi and his Pious Wife”
(120) [111] “The Shipwrecked Woman and her Child”
(121) [112] “The Pious Black Slave”
(122) [113] “The Devout Tray-maker and his Wife”
(123) [114] “Al-Hajjaj bin Yusuf and the Pious Man”
(124) [115] “The Blacksmith who could handle Fire without Hurt”
(125) [116] “The Devotee to whom Allah gave a Cloud for Service & the King”
(126) [117] “The Moslem Champion and the Christian Damsel”
(127) [118] “The Christian King’s Daughter and the Moslem”
(128) [119] “The Prophet and the Justice of Providence”
(129) [120] “The Ferryman of the Nile and the Hermit”
(130) [121] “The Island King and the Pious Israelite”
(131) [122] “Abu Al-Hasan and Abu Ja’afar the Leper”

Chauvin, 6: 55, includes all of these anecdotes under the title “Igtirâr (Le monde trompeur)” – No. 221 in his Bibliographie arabe. He remarks of this collection: “Elle est complète dans tous les textes qui la donnent” [It's complete in all the texts which include it].

(-) [126/x] “The Poisoning”

L’empoisonnement” is listed separately by Eliséef, but not by Kirby, which has necessitated some renumbering.

(161) [152] “King Jali’ad of Hind and his Wazir Shimas ...”

The full form of the title in Kirby is “King Jali’ad of Hind and his Wazir Shimas, followed by the history of King Wird Khan, son of King Jali’ad, with his Women and Wazirs.”

(176) [-] “Al-Rashid and the Barmecides”

Mardrus gives a full account of the downfall of the Barmecides, drawn (presumably) from the “Terminal Essays” of Burton [XII] or Payne [XI]. Since he includes the material in this anecdote, I have listed his story “La fin de Giafar et des Barmekides” here, despite the fact that the two are not really identical in extent.

(190) [-] “Conclusion”

My policy – like Eliséef’s, but unlike Kirby’s – has been to include in this line of entries any of the various endings to the collection (whether authorised, abridged, or invented) provided by our different editors and translators.

(191) [-] “The Tale of Zayn Al-Asnam”

Kirby’s note at the beginning of his table (10: 514) reads “All tales which there is good reason to believe do not belong to the genuine Nights are marked with an asterisk.” I have not preserved this distinction in my own listings, but think it worthwhile to note here that Nos (191) to (198) – Galland’s fugitive stories – and (246) to (260), together with their subordinate stories, are all marked in this way.

(193) [161] “Alaeddin; or, the Wonderful Lamp”

Burton [XII] includes (13: 195-305) an English version of Galland’s “Aladdin” after his translation of “Alaeddin” from the Arabic. Neither the later ‘Burton Club’ reprints, nor Leonard Smithers’ slightly expurgated “Library Edition” perpetuate this practice, so I have not thought it worthwhile to provide two listings for the story despite the obvious differences between the two texts.

(199) [-] “Weil’s Anecdote of Ja’afar the Barmecide [= (39)]”

I have included (and expanded on) Kirby’s double listings for stories such as the above, which is essentially the same as No (39): “Generous dealing of Yahya son of Khalid with a man who forged a letter.” The convention I have adopted is to list such doubles in square brackets, in the Burton column [XII] only, thus: [IV, 181].

(201) [-] “Weil’s Adventures of the Fisherman, Judar, ... and the Sultan Beibars”

The full form of the title in Kirby is “The Adventures of the Fisherman, Judar of Cairo, and his meeting with the Moor Mahmood and the Sultan Beibars.”

(204/c) [-] “Story of the First Lunatic”

Chavis and Cazotte replace Mohammed, Sultan of Cairo, the story’s hero in the Wortley-Montague Ms., with Harun al-Rashid. Chauvin, 5: 101-02, lists the two versions separately as (respectively) Nos 175 and 176, though he makes it clear that they are otherwise essentially identical.

(204/f) [-] “The Night-Adventure of the Sultan ... with the Schoolmasters”

Kirby gives the title of this annex to the “Story of the Three Sharpers” (204) as (f) the “Night Adventure of the Sultan,” followed by (g) the “Story of the first foolish man,” (h) the “Story of the broken-backed Schoolmaster,” and (i) the “Story of the wry-mouthed Schoolmaster.” Burton [XII], on the other hand, entitling it “The Night-Adventure of Sultan Mohammed of Cairo with the Three Foolish Schoolmasters,” makes it clear that all three foolish men are Schoolmasters, and lists the “Story of the Limping Schoolmaster” after the other two, leaving out the “first foolish man” entirely. Burton’s (204/g) and (h) are therefore Kirby’s (h) and (i). Since Kirby gives “Scott’s Ms.” as his only source for (g), and since it is not mentioned in the complete catalogue of Wortley-Montague Ms. contents included in Burton, 15: 497-504, I have accepted Burton’s authority here and adjusted my listings accordingly.

(206) [-] “Tale of the Kazi and the Bhang-Eater”
(207) [-] “Tale of Mahmud the Persian and the Kurd Sharper”
(208) [-] “Tale of the Fisherman and his Son”

Kirby lists this long, intertwined story under three separate numbers: (206) – with two subordinate tales – (207) – with eight – and (208). Burton [XII] sees it as one narrative with fifteen subdivisions, (a) to (o). I have followed Burton’s listings here as they seem more sensible, but have retained Kirby’s three numbers for reference.

(207/f) [-] “The Fruit-Seller’s Tale”

Burton [XII] lists this story as being separate from both the “Tale of the Sultan and the Poor Man who brought to him Fruit” (207/e) and the “Tale of the Sultan and his Three Sons and the Enchanting Bird” (g). As the latter is the tale the Fruit-Seller told, and the former gives a description of how he came to tell it, it is hard to see the need for this further subdivision. I have therefore truncated Burton’s listings here to fit Kirby’s.

(216) [-] “Night-Adventure of Harun Al-Rashid and the Youth Manjab”

Kirby gives this story the title “Adventure of Haroon Al Rusheed,” which he follows with (216/a) the “Story of the Sultan of Bussorah,” (b) the “Nocturnal Adventures of Haroon Al Rusheed,” (c) the “Story related by Munjaub,” (d) the “Story of the Sultan, the Dirveshe [sic] and the Barber’s Son,” (e) the “Story of the Bedouin’s Wife,” and (f) the “Story of the Wife and her two Gallants” – titles taken from Jonathan Scott’s 1811 translation. Burton [XII] gives only three subdivisions: “The Loves of the Lovers of Bassorah,” the “Story of the Darwaysh and the Barber’s Boy and the Greedy Sultan,” and the “Tale of the Simpleton Husband” on his page of contents. Tauer translates all the subdivisions of the story – except for (216/a), repeated from No (147).

(243) [-] “Tale of Sultan Taylún and the generous Fellah”

Chauvin, 5: 39 conjectures that this story might be the same as (276), listed as his No. 388: “La mosquée de Theïloun.” Consultation of Tauer 2: 355 refutes the supposition.

(244) [-] “The retired Sage and his Servant-lad”

Chauvin, 4: 208 conjectures that this story might be the same as (204 / e), listed as his No. 377: “Le sage et son pupille .” Consultation of Tauer 1: 65 and 2: 366 again refutes the supposition.

(252) [-] “The King and Queen of Abyssinia”

Kirby lists this story by itself, but it in Habicht's translation it is included in the collection “The Ten Wazirs” (174), which is why Chauvin does not give it a separate number.

(262) [-] “Story of Ahmed the Orphan”

This story is included in Scott’s Tales, Anecdotes and Letters (1800) but not in his translation of the Nights. Kirby (10: 497) gives a list of the stories included in his own volume The New Arabian Nights (1882) which includes a No (264). Since there is no ‘264’ in his listing, I have assumed that this actually refers to ‘262’. Chauvin, 4: 185, repeats Kirby’s information with two question marks.

(263) [-] “Story of the 3 Princes and the Genius Morhagian and His Daughters”

Kirby translates this story from Galland’s diary, as reprinted in Hermann Zotenberg’s Histoire d’Alâ Al-Dîn ou la lampe merveilleuse. Texte arabe publié avec une notice sur quelques manuscrits des Mille et une nuits et la traduction de Galland (Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1888) 53.


1. According to Burton (1885, 1: 14): “Shahrázád (Persian) = City-freer; in the older version Scheherazade (probably both from Shirzád = lion-born).” This form was first used by E. W. Lane and, after him, by John Payne.

2. Mardrus translates the name as “la Fille de la Cité” [Daughter of the City] (1989, 1: 1025).

3. Most of these ‘fugitive stories’ – so-called because they do not occur in the three surviving volumes of Galland’s manuscript in the Bibliothèque Nationale – are now known to have been dictated to Galland by a Syrian story-teller called “M.Hanna, Maronite d’Halep” (Burton, 1886-88, 3: x). They are listed under the numbers (191) – (198) in the Table of Concordances. Nos (191) and (192) were disowned by Galland as having been added to the eighth volume of his translation without his knowledge. They came, in fact, from a set of Turkish tales translated by Pétis de la Croix (Burton, 1886-88, 3: 363-64).

4. The numbers listed beside each story in the text are those employed in the Table of Concordances below.

5. Kirby also contributed “Notes on the Stories Contained in Vol. IV [and V] of ‘Supplemental Nights,’“ Burton, 1886-88, 15: 505-15, but these are comparatively trivial.

6. “Except for a few slight additions and corrections, this Bibliography is printed nearly as it stood in the original edition. No attempt has been made to bring it up to a later date. – W. F. K.” (Burton, 1897, 12: 311). The revision consisted of omitting “How Abu Hasan Brake Wind” (100) from the list (though not, curiously enough, from Burton’s reprinted text); the addition of details from Lady Isabel Burton’s Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night: Prepared for Household Reading, ed. J. H. McCarthy, 6 vols (London, 1886) in the column left blank by Kirby; and of listings from the first three volumes of the Supplemental Nights in the Burton column).

7. For precision’s sake, I should specify that Nos (1) to (169) of Kirby’s listings correspond almost exactly to the first ten volumes of Burton’s Nights (1885); Nos (170) to (190) are taken from Payne’s Tales from the Arabic, which use a slightly different nomenclature but are otherwise identical to Burton’s Supplemental Nights, vols 1-2 (1886); and Nos (191) to (198), Galland’s so-called “fugitive stories,” are in a different order, but equate in other respects with Burton’s Supplemental Nights, vol. 3 (1887). From (199) to (201) he uses Weil’s German translation; from (202) to (245) Jonathan Scott’s translations from the Wortley-Montague Ms. (roughly matching the Supplemental Nights, vols 4-5 (1888)); from (246) to (260) the “composite editions” stemming from Chavis and Cazotte’s continuation in 1788-89, then Gauttier’s translation in 1822, then Habicht’s in 1824-25 (Burton’s Supplemental Nights, vol. 6 (1888) confines itself to selections from the manuscript evidence for the first of these editions). Nos (261) and (262) come from Scott’s translations from the Anderson Ms. of the Nights (cf. Kirby, 10:491).

8. Volume 3 of the original Supplemental Nights has been split into two volumes in this reissue. The pagination, however (and thus my references) remain the same. For further details cf. Norman M. Penzer, An Annotated Bibliography of Sir Richard Francis Burton (London: Philpot, 1923) 131-32.

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