N. J. Dawood
Born in Baghdad, N. J. Dawood came to England as an Iraq State Scholar in 1945 and graduated from London University. In 1959 he founded the Arabic Advertising & Publishing Co. Ltd, London (ARADCO), which is now one of the major producers of Arabic typesetting outside the Middle East. His translation of Tales from the Thousand and One Nights was first published as Penguin No. 1001 in 1954 and has since been printed in twenty various editions. It is now available as a Penguin Audiobook.
He is best known for his translation of the Koran, the first in contemporary English idiom, which was published as a Penguin Classic in 1956 and has since sold over one million copies. An illustrated hardback edition of the Koran was published by Allen Lane in 1978. In the present edition the translation has been completely revised, an index has been added and the arrangement of the surahs follows the traditional sequence alongside a parallel calligraphic version of the Arabic original. This translation is also available without the Arabic original in the Penguin Classics series.
As well as contributing book reviews and articles on literary subjects to the national press, N. J. Dagwood has retold for children two selections from The Arabian Nights, published in the Puffin Classics in 1989. He has edited and abridged The Muqaddimah of Ibn Khaldun (Princeton University Press), translated numerous technical works into Arabic, written and spoken radio and film commentaries and contributed to specialised English-Arabic dictionaries.