World Tales Limited Editions

Idries Shah World Tales Limited Edition books for sale

Limited Editions

We are extremely happy to announce the release of the first titles in the ISF Collector’s Library. This edition of WORLD TALES, divided into five small numbered hardback volumes, is limited to just 500 sets.

In an age of mass-market paperbacks and eBooks, we wanted to create a limited edition series not only to be treasured, but which will make a significant charitable contribution.

Made possible by a generous private donation, the proceeds from the sale of WORLD TALES, and subsequent limited editions, will go to translating and publishing a special edition of the same title. These will be distributed for free to children in Afghanistan.

Printed to the very highest standard, the five-volume limited edition sets are for sale at £75, plus shipping costs.

As a Friend of ISF, we want to thank you for all your support!



You can purchase one or more sets below, or you can order one or more of the individual books. Please keep in mind that these are limited editions, and we will not be requesting another print run once they have sold out.



About World Tales

How can it be that the same story is found in Scotland and also in Pre-Columbian America? What can account for the durability and persistence of tales? Was the tale of Aladdin and his wondrous lamp really taken from Wales (where it has been found) to the ancient East and, if so, when and by whom?

These questions and more are answered in Idries Shah’s remarkable volume World Tales, which is subtitled, ‘The extraordinary coincidence of stories told in all times, in all places’. In his introduction, Shah remarks, ‘Working for thirty-five years among the written and oral sources of our world heritage in tales, one feels a truly living element in them which is startlingly evident when one isolates the ‘basic’ stories; the ones which tend to have travelled farthest, to have featured in the largest number of classical collections, to have inspired great writers of the past and present’.


Each book has between 100 and 118 pages.

Volume 1: Tales of a Parrot and Other Stories

  • Tales of a Parrot
  • Dick Whittington and his Cat
  • Don’t Count Your Chickens
  • The Hawk and the Nightingale
  • Cecino the Tiny
  • Her Lover’s Heart
  • The New Hand
  • The Mastermaid
  • The Hermit
  • The Maiden Wiser than the Tsar

Volume 2: The Happiest Man in the World and Other Stories

  • The Travelling Companion
  • The Riddles
  • The Grateful Animals and the Ungrateful Man
  • The Value of a Treasure Hoard
  • Patient Griselda
  • How Evil Produces Evil
  • The Ghoul and the Youth of Ispahan
  • The Pilgrim from Paradise
  • The Blind Ones and the Matter of the Elephant
  • Anpu and Bata
  • God is Stronger
  • The Happiest Man in the World
  • The Gorgon’s Head

Volume 3: The Food of Paradise and Other Stories

  • The Brahmin’s Wife and the Mongoose
  • The Magic Bag
  • Catherine’s Fate
  • The Desolate Island
  • Gazelle Horn
  • Tom Tit Tot
  • The Silent Couple
  • Childe Rowland
  • The Tale of Mushkil Gusha
  • The Food of Paradise
  • The Lamb with the Golden Fleece
  • The Man with the Wen
  • The Skilful Brothers
  • The Algonquin Cinderella

Volume 4: The Water of Life and Other Stories

  • The Kindly Ghost
  • The Ass in Pantherskin
  • The Water of Life
  • The Serpent
  • The Wonderful Lamp
  • Who Was The Most Generous?
  • Cupid and Psyche
  • The Royal Detectives
  • Conflict of the Magicians
  • False Witnesses
  • The Cobbler who Became an Astrologer
  • The Two Travellers
  • The Fisherman and his Wife
  • Impossible Judgement
  • Hudden and Dudden and Donald O’Neary
  • Riquet with the Tuft

Volume 5: The Land Where Time Stood Still and Other Stories

  • The Lost Camel
  • The Beggar and the Gazelle
  • The Apple on the Boy’s Head
  • The Boots of Hunain
  • The Three Caskets
  • The Land Where Time Stood Still
  • The Man Turned into a Mule
  • The Fox and the Hedgehog
  • The Bird Maiden
  • The Slowest May Win the Race
  • The Three Imposters
  • Occasion