Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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Invitation to World Literature

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An 1868 illustration of Shahrazad telling her first story to her murderous new husband, the sultan Shahrayar. Her sister, who is in on the plan to keep Shahrazad alive by keeping her storytelling going from night to night, listens attentively on the right. The sultan's cruel expression shows the depths of his depravity, from which Shahrazad will rescue him.
A 1914 illustration of the story of "The Porter and the Three Ladies of Baghdad", featured in the episode on the Watch page of this Web site. What would three such beautiful ladies want with the dumpy Porter? This image puts the ladies into the fashion of the early 20th century.
David Damrosch talks about this image
The title page of Edward Lane's influential 1841 translation of the tales. It promises "copious notes" to fill the English reader in on medieval Arabic customs, and shows that the tales were known by two names: The Thousand and One Nights and The Arabian Nights.
David Damrosch talks about this image
An 1888 American poster for a burlesque show that featured the story of Aladdin. The majestic backdrop for the production shows an imaginary Arabia of fairy castles, dancing girls, soldiers, ostriches, wise men, and sultans dressed as European kings. The Thousand and One Nights sparked a romantic interest in the world of the tales in Europe and America, in which the magical elements overwhelmed the realism of the tales and the Muslim world became a fantasy land.
Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division
A 1909 illustration by American artist Maxfield Parrish, showing a poor fisherman unleashing a genie. Parrish's drawings mixed the realism and fantasy of the tales to create a gripping series of illustrations that are more true to the stories.