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The Tale of al-Barrāq Son of Rawḥān and Laylā the Chaste – A bilingual edition and study - British Academy Scholarship Online
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The Tale of al-Barrāq Son of Rawḥān and Laylā the Chaste: A bilingual edition and study

Marlé Hammond


This book is a bilingual edition and study of a lengthy specimen of pre-modern Arabic storytelling. The tale’s origins are unknown but it probably dates from the seventeenth century. As a sustained fairy tale of the knight-in-shining-armour-rescues-damsel-in-distress variety, it reads as fiction and was probably intended as such. However, scholars in the Arab renaissance or Nahḍa received the text as history. Its pre-Islamic protagonists, ever emoting in verse, were thus celebrated as some of the earliest Arabic poets. The Arabic text featured in the monograph is sourced from five manuscripts ... More

Keywords: Al-Barrāq, Laylā the Chaste, Nahḍa, sīra, ʿUdhrī love, novel, fairy tale

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780197266687
Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2020 DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266687.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Marlé Hammond, author
Professor of History, SOAS University of London