Persian Pictures
10%
off

Persian Pictures : From the Mountains to the Sea

3.61 (59 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 11 business days
When will my order arrive?

Description

"Are we the same, I wonder, when all our surroundings, association, acquaintances are changed? I conclude that it is not the person who danced with you at Mansfield St who writes to you today from Persia. Yet there are dregs, English sediment at the bottom of my sherbet, and perhaps they flavour it more than I think. I write to you of Persia: I am not me, that is my only excuse. I am only I am merely pouring out for you some of what I have received in the last two months." When Gertrude Bell's uncle was appointed Minister in Tehran in 1891, she declared that the great ambition of her life was to visit Persia. Several months later, she did. And so began a lifetime of travel and a lifelong enchantment with what she saw as the romance of the East, which evolved into a deep understanding of its cultures and people. This vivid and impressionistic series of sketches, her first foray into writing, is an evocative meditation that moves between Persia's heroic past and its long decline; the public face of Tehran and the otherworldly 'secret, mysterious life of the East', the lives of its women, its lush, enclosed gardens; from the bustling cities to the lonely wastelands of Khorasan.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 208 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 17.78mm | 203g
  • I.B. TAURIS
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • New
  • 1780766920
  • 9781780766928
  • 280,114

Back cover copy

"'Here in the dust and the sunshine is an epitome of the living East, and standing unnoticed in a doorway, you will admit that you have not travelled in vain. But as the procession of people flies past you, you will realize what a gulf lies between you. The East looks to itself; it knows nothing of the greater world of which you are a citizen, asks nothing of you and your civilization.'"
This brilliant, vivid and impressionistic series of sketches, formed during her 1892 stay in Persia, is Gertrude Bell's first published work. Infused with a distinctive orientalism, " Persian Pictures" is an evocative, virtuosic meditation, moving sinuously between Persia's heroic, complex, mythical past and its present decline; the public face of Tehran and the otherworldly 'secret, mysterious life of the East', the lives of its women, its enclosed, quasi-medieval gardens; from the bustling cities to the lonely wastelands of Khorasan. Bell's documentation of Muharram - the month of mourning for Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed - and Ramadan, display a mind finely attuned to the differences and similarities between Islam and Christianity, East and West." Persian Pictures" is both travelogue and meditation, an elegiac and beautifully observed account of a spellbinding land.
show more

Table of contents

Preface

An Eastern City
The Tower of Silence
In Praise of Gardens
The King of Merchants
The Imam Hussein
The Shadow of Death
Dwellers in Tents
Three Noble Ladies
The Treasure of the King
Sheikh Hassan
A Persian Host
A Stage and a Half
A Bridle- Path
Two Palaces
The Month of Fasting
Requiescant in Pace
The City of King Prusias
Shops and Shopkeepers
A Murray of the First Century
Travelling Companions
show more

Review quote

Her remarkable intellectual abilities and masculine demeanour make 'Persian Pictures', her first publication on an Eastern subject , all the more interesting. Geoffrey Nash
show more

About Gertrude Bell

Gertrude Bell, CBE (1868 - 1926) was a writer, traveller, political officer, archaeologist and spy who travelled extensively throughout Syria, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor and Arabia. Along with T. E. Lawrence, Bell helped establish the Hashemite dynasties in what is today Jordan and Iraq. She played a major role in the birth of the modern state of Iraq, using the perspective gained from her travels and relations with tribal leaders in the Middle East. "In British diplomatic group photographs of the early 20th-century Middle East, amid the plumes and uniforms and the calm paraphernalia of an empire going to hell in a bucket, there is often a solitary female. The woman is slim, with a head of luxuriant hair, and neatly dressed in billowing muslins or in the pencil silhouette and cloche hats of jazz-age Baghdad. The woman is Gertrude Bell." James Buchan, Guardian.
show more

Rating details

59 ratings
3.61 out of 5 stars
5 20% (12)
4 37% (22)
3 27% (16)
2 14% (8)
1 2% (1)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X