By Moojan Momen
Newly researched, out-of-print and unpublished material, fully edited and annotated.
An essential work for serious students of the Bahá'í Faith, including
- Identification of well-known Bahá'ís Browne met in Iran and referred to under other names in 'A Year Amongst the Persians'
- Browne's 80-page Abstract of the Persian Bayán, never before published
- The full text of 'The Bábís of Persia', the first comprehensive account of the Bahá'í Faith in English
Edward Granville Browne is widely regarded as the greatest European scholar in the field of modern Iranian studies. His extraordinary sympathy and understanding in describing Iranian culture ensures that his books are still read almost a century later. His research into the Bábí and Bahá'í Faiths, although not free from errors of fact and judgement, remains to this day one of the most important contributions in the field.
The first three sections of this book result from Browne's travels in Iran in 1887-8, where he met some of the most prominent Bahá'ís. In his famous work 'A Year Amongst the Persians', he took care to protect their identity.
However, he also kept a diary, written partly in a private code, in which almost all of them are identified, including such men as Mírzá Haydar-'Alí. Thanks to Dr Momen's careful work on the original diary, and on other sources, the most important extracts from this book can be presented here with the individuals identified and the background to many of the events in the book explained.
Browne's paper 'The Bábís of Persia', long out of print, makes up the second section. This was the first comprehensive account in English of Bábí and Bahá'í history and teachings, and is of major historical importance in its own right.
The third section is a previously unpublished abstract of the Persian Bayán, the major work of the Báb written in about 1848. Browne had succeeded in obtaining a manuscript copy of this work in Iran and on his return immediately set about preparing this lengthy abstract for publication. It was, however, never published, and appears now for the first time, with annotations by the editor, providing a detailed guide to the contents of the Persian Bayán.
There are also several valuable short sections from different publications no longer in print. They represent various aspects of Browne's wide-ranging studies on the Bábí and Bahá'í Faiths.
Finally, a list of Browne's papers and manuscripts on the subject, compiled by the editor, is published here for the first time.
George Ronald, Oxford
499 pages, 11 illustrations
23.4 x 15.6 cm. (9.25 x 6 in)