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The tales told by Shahrazad over a thousand and one nights to delay her execution by the vengeful King Shahriyar have become among the most popular in both Eastern and Western literature. From the epic adventures of "Aladdin and the Enchanted Lamp" to the farcical "Young Woman and her Five Lovers" and the social criticism of "The Tale of the Hunchback", the stories depict a fabulous world of all-powerful sorcerers, jinns imprisoned in bottles and enchanting princesses. But despite their imaginative extravagance, the Tales are anchored to everyday life by their realism, providing a full and intimate record of medieval Islam.
N.J Dawood has translated a number of texts for Penguin Classics, including The Koran.