J. C. Mardrus  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Joseph Charles Mardrus (1868-1949), born in Cairo, was a French physician and a noted translator. Today he is best known for his translation of the Thousand and One Nights from Arabic into French, which was published from 1898 to 1904, and was in turn rendered into English by Powys Mathers.

Mardrus's version of the Arabian Nights is racy, elegant, and highly readable. It is mentioned explicitly in the pages of A Remembrance of Things Past. Unfortunately, Mardrus inserted a lot of imaginative material of his own, and his translation is therefore not quite "authentic."

As a medical man, he worked for the French government, being sent to Morocco and the Far East. He produced other translations, some illustrated by the Swiss engraver François-Louis Schmied (1873-1941).

He married the novelist and poet Lucie Delarue in 1900. They divorced later, around 1915.


  • Les Mille et Une Nuits (The 1001 Nights, edited by Robert Laffont; in the Bouquins collection)
  • L’Apocalypse qui est la révélation
  • Le Livre des Morts de l’Ancienne Égypte
  • Le Cantique des Cantiques
  • Le Livre des Rois
  • Sucre d’amour (1926), illustrated by François-Louis Schmied
  • La Reine de Saba (1918)
  • La Reine de Saba et divers autres contes (1921)
  • Le Koran, commissioned by the French government in 1925
  • Le Paradis musulman (1930), illustrated by François-Louis Schmied
  • Toute-Puissance de l'Adepte (Le Livre de la Vérité de Parole) 1932

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "J. C. Mardrus" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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