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Twelve Days in Persia: Across the Mountains with the Bakhtiari Tribe

Overview

A year after Vita Sackville-West first travelled to Iran - a journey described in the classic Passenger to Teheran - she returned to the land that had so captured her imagination. For twelve days, with her husband and three friends, she embarked on a difficult and often dangerous journey through the rugged and wildly-beautiful Bakhtiari Mountains of south-western Iran. It was a landscape that affected Sackville-West profoundly, inspiring what is arguably some of her most lyrical prose; in the same year she wrote ...

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Overview

A year after Vita Sackville-West first travelled to Iran - a journey described in the classic Passenger to Teheran - she returned to the land that had so captured her imagination. For twelve days, with her husband and three friends, she embarked on a difficult and often dangerous journey through the rugged and wildly-beautiful Bakhtiari Mountains of south-western Iran. It was a landscape that affected Sackville-West profoundly, inspiring what is arguably some of her most lyrical prose; in the same year she wrote her acclaimed poem, The Land. Interwoven with her magical descriptions of the landscape, she also wrote of her encounters with the Bakhtiari tribe as they embarked on their epic annual migration. The way of life of the Bakhtiari, a people claiming descent from Fereydun, hero of the Shahnameh, has now all but disappeared, the result of persecution by Reza Shah and the encroachments and temptations of modernity. Sackville-West's descriptions of their everyday life are thus a valuable and illuminating portrayal a vanished world. A book that reveals as much about its author as the country through which she travelled, Twelve Days in Persia is a classic of travel writing on Iran and a must-have for all Bloomsbury devotees.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Written in her individual style- what Winifred Holtby called the lucid tranquility of her lovely prose- the narrative of her journey says as much about the author as it does about the place she describes…A beautifully written book, an account of the vanished world of the Bakhtiari- and a testament to a highly unusual woman.” — Oldie

Praise for Passenger to Teheran:

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

“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

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

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

".. . 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

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

"The joy of this is being allowed to stop off for a while in the brain of Sackville-West. She is funny, wise, and well aware of herself."— RALPH: The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy, and the Humanities

"All good travel books should make you want to be going along with the writer. This one certainly does...[H]er eye is impeccable: for the flowers, for the mountains, for the herdsmen and their hardy women, their (often) sickly children: for anything of life amidst the dust and stones." — Elizabeth Harkins, RALPH: Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and Humanities

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781845119331
  • Publisher: I. B.Tauris & Company, Limited
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 544,171
  • Product dimensions: 5.23 (w) x 7.87 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Vita Sackville-West, the celebrated writer, was a prolific poet and author. Her most famous works include 'The Edwardians', 'All Passion Spent', 'Passenger to Teheran' 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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