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In 1884, John Compton Pyne, a British soldier, having finished his tour of duty in India, decided to make a detour on his trip home in order to spend three months crossing Persia, unaccompanied except by the local muleteers. Among his accouterments he packed a small leather-bound sketchbook in which he not only wrote a journal but also added beautiful and charming watercolor illustrations. This edition reprints his adventurous journal alongside an introduction that contextualizes this trip against the background of the Persian influence in British culture, and sets this influence as a driving force behind Pyne’s travels.
About the Author
Marjan Afsharian works for the Encyclopaedia Islamica project at the Institute of Ismaili Studies, London. Russell Harris is an established translator of literary works from French and Arabic.
Table of Contents
Table of Figures John Compton Pyne (1857-1893), 2nd Battalion, The Dorsetshire Regiment, by Jeremy Archer Acknowledgements Introduction, by Russell Harris and Marjan Afsharian Background to the Journal Cultural Background Romantic attraction of Persia and the call of Lalla Rookh Persia in music and applied arts The telegraph Persia in Europe Tourism and adventure in the Orient The state of Persia Conclusion The Journal Epilogue, by Jeremy Archer Bibliography Index