Every night for three years the vengeful King Shahriyar sleeps with a different virgin, executing her next morning. To end this brutal pattern and to save her own life, the vizier's daughter, Shahrazad, begins to tell the king tales of adventure, love, riches and wonder - tales of mystical lands peopled with princes and hunchbacks, the Angel of Death and magical spirits, tales of the voyages of Sindbad, of Ali Baba's outwitting a band of forty thieves and of jinnis trapped in rings and in lamps. The sequence of stories will last 1,001 nights.
Malcolm Lyons is a life Fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge. His published works include the biography Saladin, The Politics of the Holy War, The Arabian Epic and Identification and Identity in Classical Arabic Poetry. Ursula Lyons is Emeritus Fellow of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge and specialises in modern Arabic literature. Robert Irwin is the author of For Lust of Knowing: The Orientalists and Their Enemies, The Middle East in the Middle Ages and The Arabian Nights: A Companion. His novels include The Limits of Vision, The Arabian Nightmare, The Mysteries of Algiers and Satan Wants Me.