Lyall, Sir Charles James (lĪˈəl) [key], 1845–1920, British Orientalist and civil servant in India. He held various offices in India and became chief commissioner of the Central Provs. (1895–98). In London he held (1898–1910) an important post in the India Office. Lyall was a student of Arabian poetry. His works include Translations of Ancient Arabian Poetry (1885, 1930), The Diwan of Abid ibn al-Abras (1913), The Poems of Amr Son of Qamiah (1919), and The Mufaddaliyat (1921).