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Edward William Lane (1801-1876)Edward William Lane , considered as the greatest Arabic scholar in Europe in his day, was born at Hereford. Descending from a family of scholars and men of letters, Lane was educated, after his father's death in 1814, at the grammar schools of Bath and Hereford, where he showed a bent for mathematics, which led him to contemplate a Cambridge degree with a view to taking orders. The plan was abandoned, his health being unequal to the trials of a confined occupation and the extreme climates. To this happy disability he owed the development of his special genius that flowered in his marked passion for eastern studies. One of his early works was a translation of the Thousand and One Nights, or Arabian Nights' Entertainment. In 1843, appeared a volume of Selections from the Kuran. Lane had planned to remedy the deficiencies of the existing Arabic-Latin dictionaries by compiling an exhaustive thesaurus of the Arabic language from the numerous authoritative native lexicons. The materials were gathered, the chief native lexicon (the Tai upon which he intended to found his own work, was sufficiently transcribed. For more than a quarter of a century, Lane devoted all his efforts to completing his task, compiling the most scholarly dictionary of the Arabic language. After twenty years of unremitting labour, the first part of the Arabic-English Lexicon was published. The succeeding parts came out in 1865, 1867, 1872, 1874, and posthumously, under the editorship of S. Lane-Poole in 1877, 1885, and 1892.

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