"this diary seems horribly like the beginning of the 'Arabian Nights"
The Sultan Pardons Scheherazade, by Arthur Boyd Houghton (1836-1875)
Public DomainThe Sultan Pardons Scheherazade, by Arthur Boyd Houghton (1836-1875) - Credit: wikimedia commons

One Thousand and One Nights (also known as The Arabian Nights) is a collection of stories from Middle Eastern and South Asian societies, including Arabic, Persian, Indian, Egyptian and Mesopotamian folklore. The collection was assembled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age.


The tales are presented within the frame of a new bride, Scheherazade, telling stories to her husband, the king. The king means to execute her at daybreak, but each night she leaves her story unfinished, and he lets her live in order to hear how it ends. She finishes the tale the following night, always beginning a new one and carefully leaving it unfinished as the night ends. She carries this on for 1001 nights until her husband decides to pardon her. This is why her stories must always break off at cock-crow.