FIRST EDITION OF SALE’S LANDMARK ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE KORAN, 1734
The Koran, Commonly Called the Alcoran of Mohammed, Translated into English Immediately from the Original Arabic; with Explanatory Notes, Taken from the Most Approved Commentators.
Translated by George Sale.
Item Number: 96570
London: C. Ackers for J. Wilcox, 1734.
First edition of George Sale’s important translation of the Koran, the first to translate directly from the Arabic into English, with genealogical charts, folding map of Arabia and folding plan of the Great Mosque of Mecca. Quarto, bound in full calf, gilt titles and tooling to the spine. In near fine condition with the text clean. Housed in a custom clamshell box. An exceptional example.
For Muslims, Islam’s sacred scripture can only truly be read in Arabic, for it is the literal, revealed word of God. Among English translations, however, George Sale’s remains an important landmark. “As a translator, Sale had the field almost entirely to himself. The only full translation of the Koran in any modern language previously published was the despicable French version by Du Ryer, issued in 1649. A very poor English rendering of Du Ryer’s from French was issued by Alexander Ross in London in the same year… Sale’s translation is remarkably accurate. Throughout he has made full use of native commentators, as regards both the interpretation of the text and its illustration in the notes… His version remains the best [translation] in any language” (DNB)