A Boswell of Baghdad, by Ibn Khallikan (1929) translated by E. V. Lucas

A Boswell of Baghdad, 


with diversions (1929) by E. V.  Lucas

A Boswell of Baghdad, with diversions (1929) by E. V.  Lucas PDF book


Except:

Ibn Khallikan's Dictionary is as interesting as it is, not because its author had any remarkable instinct as a biographer or any gift of selection, but because if a man sets out to take account of everything, much human nature and a little excellence are bound to creep in.

Curious and very entertaining work lies before me, or, to be more accurate, ramparts me, for it is in four ponderous volumes, capable, each, even in less powerful hands than those of the Great Lexicographer, of felling a bookseller. 

At these volumes, I have been sipping, beelike, at odd times for some years, and I now propose to yield some of the honey the season having become timely since the great majority of the heroes of its thousands of pages hail from Baghdad; and Baghdad, after all its wonderful and intact Oriental past, is to-day under Britain's thumb. The title of the book is Ibn Khallikaris Biographical Dictionary, translated from Arabic by Bn Mac Guckin de Slane, and printed in Paris for the Oriental Translation.

A Boswell of Baghdad Britain and Ireland, 1842-71, some centuries after it was written, for its author was dead before Edward II ascended the English throne. 

Who would expect Sir Sidney Lee to have had so remote an exemplar? Remote not only in time but in distance. For although we may go to the East for religions and systems of philosophy that were old and proved worthy centuries before Hellenism or Christianity, yet we do not usually find their models for our works of reference. Hardly does Rome give us those. But there is an orderliness and thoroughness about Ibn Khallikan's methods which the Dictionary of National Biography does not exceed. 


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