Scheherazade, storytelling and me

Scheherazade illustration by Virginia Sterrett (1930-1931)

Illustration by Virginia Frances Sterrett (1900-1931) for “The Arabian Nights” by Penn Publishing Company. Sterrett overcame hardship, then died young of tuberculosis.

Scheherazade is a legendary Persian queen and the storyteller of One Thousand and One Nights.

According to the Wikipedia entry, in Sir Richard Burton’s translation of The Nights, Scheherazade was described in this way:

“[Shahrazad] had perused the books, annals and legends of preceding Kings, and the stories, examples and instances of bygone men and things; indeed it was said that she had collected a thousand books of histories relating to antique races and departed rulers. She had perused the works of the poets and knew them by heart; she had studied philosophy and the sciences, arts and accomplishments; and she was pleasant and polite, wise and witty, well read and well bred.”

I admire her for these qualities, and for her achievement. Her poetic, compelling stories inspired the king to save both her life and the peace of the kingdom.

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