Malcolm Lyons

Tales of the Marvellous and News of the Strange
  • Tales of the Marvellous and News of the Strange

    • Anonymous

    • Malcolm Lyons (Translator)

    • Taheen Modak (Read by)

    Brought to you by Penguin.

    On the shrouded corpse hung a tablet of green topaz with the inscription: 'I am Shaddad the Great. I conquered a thousand cities; a thousand white elephants were collected for me; I lived for a thousand years and my kingdom covered both east and west, but when death came to me nothing of all that I had gathered was of any avail. You who see me take heed: for Time is not to be trusted.'

    Dating from at least a millennium ago, these are the earliest known Arabic short stories, surviving in a single, ragged manuscript in a library in Istanbul. Some found their way into The Arabian Nights but most have never been read in English before. Tales of the Marvellous and News of the Strange has monsters, lost princes, jewels beyond price, a princess turned into a gazelle, sword-wielding statues and shocking reversals of fortune.

    © Robert Irwin 2014 (P) Penguin Audio 2021

Malcolm Lyons is a world renowned specialist in his field of classical Arabic poetry and is the senior fellow at Pembroke College, Cambridge, having been a fellow there since 1956. His published works include a biography of Saladin, The Arabian Epic, Identification and Identity in Classical Arabian Poetry, a translation of The Arabian Nights, and articles on Arabic literature. His wife specialises in Modern Arabic literature, and has been an Emertius fellow at Lady Cavendish Hall, Cambridge since 1976. Robert Irwin is the author of For Lust of Knowing, The Middle East in the Middle Ages, The Arabian Nights: A Companion and numerous other specialised studies of Middle Eastern politics, art and mysticism. His novels include The Limits of Vision, The Arabian Nightmare The Mysteries of Algiers and Satan Wants Me.

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