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1818: An inspiration to Goethe and Emerson

Hammer-Purgstall, Joseph von Geschichte der schonen Redekünste Persiens, mit einer Blüthenlese aus zweyhundert persischen Dichtern. Vienna Heubner & Volke 1818
First edition. 4to, pp. xii, [iv], 432; with portrait frontispiece and 1 leaf of music; text in gothic type. A very good copy bound in contemporary tree calf, spine decorated in gilt with red lettering piece. Minor wear to extremities.
Brunet III, 33

The Austrian Joseph Freiherr von Hammer-Purgstall, 1774-1856, was a dragoman and interpreter in the Levant who mastered Arabic, Persian and Turkish. His translations of Persian poets inspired Goethe and Ralph Waldo Emerson. He "was a prolific and careless writer... had no academic training and was full of ideas and insights, many of which were not only wrong but also slightly mad" Robert Irwin, For Lust of Knowing.