Passenger to Teheran

Overview

In 1926 Vita Sackville-West travelled to Iran to visit her husband, Harold Nicolson, who was serving as a diplomat in Teheran. Her route was deliberately slow-paced - she stopped in Egypt, where she sailed up the Nile to Luxor; and India, where she visited New Delhi and Agra before sailing across the Persian Gulf to Iraq and on through bandit-infested mountains to Teheran. She returned to England in an equally circuitous manner and despite travelling under dangerous circumstances, through communist Russia and ...

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Overview

In 1926 Vita Sackville-West travelled to Iran to visit her husband, Harold Nicolson, who was serving as a diplomat in Teheran. Her route was deliberately slow-paced - she stopped in Egypt, where she sailed up the Nile to Luxor; and India, where she visited New Delhi and Agra before sailing across the Persian Gulf to Iraq and on through bandit-infested mountains to Teheran. She returned to England in an equally circuitous manner and despite travelling under dangerous circumstances, through communist Russia and Poland in the midst of revolution, her humour and sense of adventure never failed. Passenger to Teheran is a classic work, revealing the lesser-known side of one of the twentieth century's most luminous authors.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"She pursues the good, the true and the beautiful with relentless tenacity and a charming style."—New York Times

“Passenger to Teheran is utterly different from a returned traveller’s lecture… It gives pleasure because it describes pleasure, illuminated by what Winifred Holtby called ‘the lucid tranquility of her lovely prose.’ She could describe a scene, a person, an emotion with enviable spontaneity, plunging her hands into the treasury of the English language as greedily as into the jewel-chests of the Shah. It is a glittering book.”—Nigel Nicolson, in his introduction to Passenger to Teheran

“It’s awfully good… I didn't know the extent of your subtleties. The whole book is full of nooks and crannies, the very intimate things one says in print.”—Virginia Woolf, in a letter to Vita Sackville-West

".. . we are told what Miss Sackville-West saw in Persia, but always with such an artistic touch, such an individual style, that it is the traveller who mostly holds our attention."—Daily Telegraph

"A glittering jewel of a book."—Publishers Weekly

"Brilliant style.. . a lyrical period piece which contains passages of unquestionable beauty."—Library Journal

"Delightful…this is a gem of a book"— Ionis Thompson, The Middle East in London

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Bloomsbury writer Sackville-West's lively intelligence and independence of spirit animate this glittering jewel of a book. A travelogue of her circuitous, four-month journey to Iran (then Persia) via Egypt, Aden, India and Iraq, it is notable for the author's open-mindedness and her empathy for the diverse peoples she encountered--whether potters in an Egyptian village, Arab women by the Tigris or Kurdish farmers. Teheran, where her husband Harold Nicolson was stationed as a British diplomat, seemed ``a squalid city of bad roads, rubbish heaps and pariah dogs,'' yet the Persia she conjures up is full of life for those who unnecessary. it's implied. aa seek it. Here is Sackville-West the adventurer, philosopher of travel just `philosopher', or `on travel'? aa/leave as is.gs , humorist, word-painteror `word smith'?aa/leave as is.gs and political satirist (of Iran under the shahs, and of the fledging Soviet Union, glimpsed on her return trek). Originally published in 1926 and long out of print, this memoir includes 65 photographs and a new introduction in which Nigel Nicolson, the author's son, adds key personal details omitted by his motheror call her `Sackville-West'.aa . (May)
Library Journal
Sixty-five years ago, Sackville-West traveled by train, ship, and motorcar from London to Persia to visit her diplomat husband Harold Nicolson. A member of the literary Bloomsbury Group and close friend of Virginia Woolf, Sackville-West is described in the introduction by her son Nigel as ``a born traveller, with that rare capacity to love equally'' her home and the place she visits. She wrote as she traveled, so the narrative imparts her sense of wonder. Her writing shows deep reflection and brilliant style. This work, while not one of her best, is a lyrical period piece which contains passages of unquestionable beauty about places like Isfahan and Baghdad. There are 65 photographs from the author's private library. For travel or academic libraries who do not own the first edition (1926. o.p.).--Susan Fifer Canby, National Geographic Soc . Lib., Washington, D.C.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781845113438
  • Publisher: I. B.Tauris & Company, Limited
  • Publication date: 5/1/2007
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 809,603
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 8.66 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author

Vita Sackville-West, the celebrated writer and Bloomsbury member, was a prolific poet and author. Her most famous works include The Edwardians, All Passion Spent and the classic poem The Land which won the Hawthornden Prize in 1927. With her husband she created the magnificent and hugely influential gardens at their home, Sissinghurst Castle. In 1946 she was made a Companion of Honour for her services to literature. She died in 1962.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

• Maps

• New Introduction by Nigel Nicolson

• Introductory

• To Egypt

• To Iraq

• Into Persia

• Round Teheran

• To Isfahan

• Kum

• The Coronation of Reza Khan

• Russia *

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