Life of Edward William Lane
The orientalist Edward William Lane (1801-1876) is best remembered for his mighty Arabic-English Lexicon and his classic translation of One Thousand and One Nights. Fascinated by Egypt, he made his first visit in 1825, undertaking a study of Egyptian life and customs which became his Description of Egypt, unpublished until more than a century after his death. His two-volume Modern Egyptians (also reissued in this series) remains an important text today. Material for the lexicon was collected in Cairo between 1842 and 1849 and, upon returning to England, Lane became a virtual recluse while compiling it. Following his death, the publication of the last three volumes was supervised by his great-nephew Stanley Lane-Poole (1854-1931). The sixth was prefaced with this biographical account, first published separately in 1877. It is based upon family recollections, the manuscript of Description of Egypt, and Lane's diary of his second stay there.