"‘I must work fast, faster than Scheherazade’"
Scheherazade telling her stories to King Shahryar
Public DomainScheherazade telling her stories to King Shahryar

Scheherazade is the legendary Persian Queen and storyteller of the One Thousand and One Nights, often known as Arabian Nights.

The legend goes that after being betrayed by his wife the Persian King Shahryār was driven mad, believing that all women would eventually deceive him in the same way. Therefore, every night for three years, the mad king takes a wife only to have her executed the next morning. Until one night, Scheherazade, the beautiful and clever daughter of the king’s adviser offers to spend the night with Shahryār.

While she is in the King’s chamber, Scheherazade develops a plan to spare her from the fate of beheading. She begins to tell a tale stopping at dawn with a cliffhanger so gripping it forces the King to keep her alive for another day so he can hear the complete the tale the next night. She continues this for 1001 nights in a row, until the king realises he has fallen in love with her and spares her life. They eventually marry and have three sons.

Full list of tales in The One Thousand and One Nights