The most scholarly dictionary of the Arabic language available. This work is the product of over thirty years of unrelenting labour. It is a work of such unique greatness that, since its first appearance almost 150 years ago, it has remained to this day supreme in the field of Arabic lexicography. No scholar or group of scholars has produced anything to supplant it. As it originally appeared and was later reproduced, the Lexicon consisted of eight large, cumbersome volumes, which made it difficult to use. Now, for the first time, the Islamic Texts Society has, with no loss whatsoever of clarity or legibility, brought together the eight large volumes into two compact volumes; it is now possible to keep the Lexiconon the work desk and refer to it with ease.
Set of two volumes.
Quotes from inside the book:
Except on Fridays, Lane denied himself to everybody, unless unusual circumstances made the interruption a necessity. On Sundays he never allowed himself, however much pressed for time, to continue his week-day work; nor did he like Sunday visitors. On all other days he devoted himself uncompromisingly to the preparation of his Lexicon. From an early breakfast to near midnight he was always at his desk, the long hours of work being broken only by a few minutes for meals- he allowed himself no more - and a scanty half-hour of exercise, spent in walking up and down a room or on the terrace on the roof. For six months together he did not cross the threshold of his house; and during all the seven years he only once left Cairo, and that was to take his wife and sister for a three day's visit to the Pyramids."
"....the main basis of the coming. work was to be the Taj-el-Aroos: but this was founded upon many other lexicons, and Lane determined so far as might be possible to verify its quotations and to take nothing, at second-hand which could be obtained from the original source. Hence it was a matter of great consequence to gather together any manuscripts that could be bought in Cairo"
"he was fortunate enough to accumulate more than a dozen of the most renowned lexicons; and thus he was able to test the accuracy of the Taj-el-Aroos, and to add greatly to the perfection and authoritativeness of his own work." "Lane began to compose his own Lexicon from' the Taj and from the other dictionaries he had collected. Thus from year to year the work went slowly on; collating, collecting, composing filled each day, each month, each year. At length the materials were gathered, the Taj was transcribed up to a sufficiently advanced point, and Lane felt he need stay no longer in Egypt" "composition went slowly on, and the manuscript of the Taj-e-Aroos was gradually completed and sent over"
"The publication of the Lexicon more than confirmed the high expectations that had been formed of it" "Each statement is followed by initials indicating the authorities form which it; was derived, except where Lane has interwoven, within brackets, his own remarks and criticisms. Thus the work is, in point of authoritativeness, as sufficient for the student as if he possessed all the original manuscripts from which it is compiled. And whereas in the native writers method is unknown and meaning follows meaning in no settled sequence, Lane has succeeded in arranging each article in logical order, distinguishing between primary and secondary meanings, and making the various significations of each root a connected whole, instead of a chaotic of inexplicable contradictions."
"One day in the week Lane closed his books. His early training had led him to regard Sunday as a day to be set apart for the things of religion, and his long sojourn in the East had in no -rise weakened this feeling. In Egypt he had frequently attended the prayers at the Mosques and there comported himself in all outward appearance as a Muslim: but this was only because without thus conforming to the ways of the people he could never have acquired that knowledge of their character which he afterwards turned to so great an account. To the last he preserved the simple earnest faith of his childhood "he never began his day's work without uttering the Arab dedication Bismi-Ilah, "In the name of God". No one who came within the reach of his influence, however great the disagreement in opinion, could fail to be impressed with the earnestness of Lane's conviction; and few talked with him without giving away better men than they came. His high and pure soul shone in his countenance, in his Manner, in his every word. In his presence a profane or impure speech was an impossibility: yet no one was over more gentle with that frailty for which the world has no pity. He was a Christian Gentleman, of a fashion of life that is passing away." From Memoirs
Edward William Lane (17 September 1801, Hereford, England – 10 August 1876, Worthing, Sussex) was a British Orientalist, translator and lexicographer. He is known for his translation of One Thousand and One Nights, which he censored, with the usual 19th-century view on "Victorian morality".
Lane was the third son of the Rev. Dr. Theopilus Lane, and grandnephew of Gainsborough on his mother's side.After his father's death in 1814, Lane was sent to grammar school at Bath and then Hereford, where he showed a talent for mathematics. He visited Cambridge, but did not enrol in any of its colleges.
Instead, Lane joined his brother Richard in London, studying engraving with him. At the same time Lane began his study of Arabic on his own. However, his health soon deteriorated. For the sake of his health and of a new career, he set sail to Egypt.