Antoine Galland’s French translation of the Thousand and One Nights appeared in 1704. One year later a pirate edition was printed in The Hague, followed by many others. Galland entertained a lively correspondence on the subject with the Dutch intellectual and statesman Gisbert Cuper (1644-1716). Dutch orientalists privately owned editions of the *Nights* and discreetly collected manuscripts of Arabic fairy tales. In 1719 the Nights were first retranslated into Dutch by the wealthy Amsterdam silk merchant and financier Gilbert de Flines (Amsterdam 1690-London 1739). The Thousand and One Nights and Orientalism in the Dutch Republic, 1700-1800: Antoine Galland, Ghisbert Cuper and Gilbert de Flines explores not only the trail of the French and Dutch editions from the eighteenth century Dutch Republic and the role of the printers and illustrators, but also the mixed sentiments of embarrassment and appreciation, and the overall literary impact of the Nights on a Protestant nation in a century when French cultural influence ruled supreme.
Richard van Leeuwen teaches at the University of Amsterdam. He has published extensively on the Thousand and One Nights and his translation of the work directly from the Arabic is widely regarded as the authoritative Dutch translation.
Arnoud Vrolijk is Curator of Oriental Manuscripts and Rare Books at Leiden University. He has published several books on the history of Arabic scholarship in the Netherlands.