LYALL, Charles James. Translations of Ancient Arabian Poetry, Chiefly Pre-Islamic, with an Introduction and Notes. London, Williams and Norgate, 1930.
Small 4to. Original cloth with dust-wrapper; pp., lii, 142; marginal toning and crinkling to wrapper; otherwise a very good and clean copy
Rare second edition in bookform of these English versions of mainly pre-Islamic poetry, translated by an administrator in British India, who, as an orientalist 'established himself as one of Britain's foremost scholars of Eastern languages ... The merit of Lyall's literary work was recognized throughout Europe and honorary degrees were conferred upon him by the universities of Oxford, Edinburgh, and Strasbourg. He was elected a fellow of the British Academy and King's College, London, and a vice-president of the Royal Asiatic Society, of which he was a prominent member. He helped found the London School of Oriental Studies and represented the government of India at oriental congresses in Rome (1899), Hamburg (1902), Algiers (1905), and Copenhagen (1908)' (ODNB).
'Little has hitherto been done to make the poetry of Ancient Arabia known to the English reader, and that which has been attempted has followed other methods than those adopted in this collection. In it my endeavour has been, so far as my powers permitted, to render line for line and measure for measure, and to afford in acommentary all the explanation which seemed needful to the understanding ofthe text' (p. vii).
The book had been published first by William and Norgate in 1885 with the same collation. This edition is an anastatic reprint.