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R.A. Nicholson was a renowned English orientalist, a scholar of Islamic literature and mysticism and a translator of important Sufi texts. Reynold was born in Keighley and died in Chester, maintaining the strong family links with the north of England. After studies at Aberdeen University and Trinity College, Cambridge, this Nicholson went on to become lecturer in Persian and then Professor of Arabic at Cambridge. Two important books include Literary History of The Arabs (1907) and The Mystics of Islam (1914) Between 1925 and 1940 Nicholson worked on a critical edition of Rumi’s Masnavi, published in eight volumes.

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