Portraits of Seven Scholars

Portraits of Seven Scholars

This book is a collection of portraits (one a self-portrait) of seven Englishmen who at different times and in different ways have striven, consciously or unconsciously, by the exercise of somewhat specialized skills to help build a bridge between the peoples and cultures of Asia and Europe. A. J. Arberry has chosen as the subjects of his portraits a handful of those many who have devoted their talents and their lives to a labour often little appreciated and dismally unrewarding, yet supremely important to the future of humanity at large. The selection, unlike his British Orientalists, has been confined to those who have worked in Arberry’s own field of study, and whose contributions to scholarship and to international understanding he was therefore better qualified to estimate. A. J. Arberry has addressed himself to the general public in this work and has explained, in the last chapter, some of the considerations which had determined his own activities as a scholar, and has offered a few general observations on the present and future of oriental studies. It is hoped that what Arberry has written will encourage others in years to come to endeavour, as he had sought to do, to keep faith with those who have gone before, men of heroic stature, whose achievements will, we are confident, be ever more widely and more deeply recognized with the passage of time.

Weight 0.47 kg


A. J. Arberry

A J. Arberry (1905-1969) was born at Buckland, Portsmouth and educated at the Pembroke College, Cambridge. He took a first in both parts of the Oriental Language Tripos in 1929 and was elected as the Junior Research Fellow by his College. During the period of 1932-1944 he worked, first as the head of the Classics Department of the Cairo University and then as the Assistant Librarian of the India Office, London. In 1944, he was appointed to the chair of Persian at the London University. In 1946, he became Professor of Arabic and Head of the Near and Middle East Department and in the following year he returned to Pembroke as Sir Thomas Adam’s Professor of Arabic, a post which he held for the remainder of his life.

A profound and inspiring teacher, he was also an immensely prolific and versatile writer, publishing over sixty works on a wide range of topics in Arabic and Persian studies as well on the facets of Islamic languages and civilization. His translation of the Qur’ān is regarded among the best to be produced in the English language.


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Packaging Details

  • Unit Type: piece
  • Package Size: 25cm x 32cm x 5cm (9.84in x 12.60in x 1.97in)
  • Package Weight: 0.56kg (1.23lb.)