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Cultural Encounters with the Arabian Nights in Nineteenth-Century Britain$
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Melissa Dickson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474443647

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474443647.001.0001

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Epilogue: A New Arabian Nights

Epilogue: A New Arabian Nights

(p.174) Chapter 5 Epilogue: A New Arabian Nights
Cultural Encounters with the Arabian Nights in Nineteenth-Century Britain

Melissa Dickson

Edinburgh University Press

The brief epilogue to this volume offers some concluding thoughts on the process by which the Arabian Nights was absorbed into British literature and culture. It then identifies the emergence of a new vision of these tales in the latter decades of the nineteenth century, which celebrated the transformation of the magical metropolis into a dynamic space of magic and mystery that supposedly far excelled its Eastern counterparts. The increasing permeability of national boundaries, coupled with an increasingly global commodity culture in late-Victorian London, intensified fantasies of the modern city as a place of adventure, with a now internalised, potent Oriental presence. In many ways, this centre of commerce, industry and science became that fantastic, unpredictable and ever-alluring space of a new Arabian Nights.

Keywords:   Richard Burton, Eroticism, Exoticism, Modernity, Memory, Literary Afterlives

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