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Journal of a Residence in England, and of a Journey from and to Syria, of Their Royal Highnesses Reeza Koolee Meerza, Najaf Koolee Meerza, and Taymoor Meerza, of Persia. To which are prefixed some Particulars respecting Modern Persia, and the Death of the late Shah. Originally written in Persian by Najaf Koolee Meerza, and translated, with Explanatory Notes by Assaad Y. Kayat.
[London:] printed for private circulation only [by W. Tyler, 1839] - 2 volumes (197 × 120 mm). Original blue-green cloth, rebacked with the original blind-ruled and gilt-lettered spines laid down, sides decoratively panel-stamped in blind with central bouquet vignettes gilt, fore and bottom edges untrimmed, yellow surface-paper endpapers. Tips bumped and rubbed, a little faint marking to cloth, contents toned, a few leaves faintly dog-eared, vol. 1 slightly shaken between sigs. M and N but holding. A good copy. Lithographic facsimile of letter from the author as frontispiece. First edition of this intriguing account of the first visit to England by any member of a Persian ruling dynasty (Monthly Review, vol. 3, 1839). "As the British became more deeply invested in protecting interests in India, relations with Persia became complex. In 1834, several sons of the late Fath Ali Shah claimed the right to rule Persia, creating the possibility of civil war. The British entered the fray, supporting one son and containing other claimants. [Firman Firman] who was imprisoned [by the new ruler Mohammed Shah, r. 1834–48] begged his sons to travel to England to plead the case for his release and protection of the family. This memoir of the successful visit captures the British fascination with their first visitors of the Persian ruling class. While the government negotiated the diplomatic situation, the princes were toured through the country and fêted across fashionable London. The enthusiastic diarist offers extensive (and sometimes exaggerated) descriptions of his experiences, which included a meeting with Princess Victoria with introductions performed by Sir Gore Ouseley" (Harry Ransom Centre). The three princes travelled to England by way of Damascus, where the British consul John Farren provided them with his interpreter Assaad Kayat, a Syrian Christian who later became agent for the Church of England Society for Promoting Christian Education in Syria. The account describes the recent history of Persia and the bloody accession of Mohammed Shah, the princes' outward voyage (which also took in Lebanon and Egypt), their stay in London, and the return journey through Germany, Austria, Hungary and Wallachia. Rare in commerce: two copies only traced at auction. Wilson p. 155. [Attributes: First Edition]
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington. ABA member]
Last Found On: 2017-10-12           Check availability:      ZVAB    

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