Earlier this month, historian Kurt Werthmuller took the opportunity of the “badder than Taylor Swift” meme to direct our attention to Shajar al-Dur, or “Tree of Pearls”:
Although there were no Top 10 singles — of which we know, at any rate — Shajar al-Dur was the hero of one of Jurji Zaydan’s (December 14, 1861-1914) fun historical novels, translated into English by Samah Selim as Tree of Pearls, Queen of Egypt (2012).
Back in 2012, Selim likened Zaydan to Walter Scott, adding that she:
“…felt that Zaydan had even gone beyond Scott in the way his…
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