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Sargozasht-e Haji Baba-ye Isfahani [The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan]

Translated by Mirza Habib Isfahani. Introduction by M. A. Jamalzadeh.

Series: Persian Language Pub. Series 9
Availability: In stock
Published: 1996
Page #: 440
Size: 6 x 9
ISBN: 1-56859-042-3
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Quick Overview

PLEASE NOTE: THIS BOOK IS IN PERSIAN LANGUAGE.

Sargozasht-e Haji Baba-ye Isfahani is a translation of James Morier’s novel, "The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan," by Mirza Habib Isfahani. Morier’s work, first published in England in 1824, is a picaresque novel rumored to have been based on the life and character of a prominent figure during the Qajar period, Abolhasan Khan Ilchi, who served as the Special Iranian Ambassador to England from about 1810 to 1813 and wrote Heyratnameh [The Book of Wonders], the accounts of his travels to England, which was recently published in Iran. Morier traveled with Ilchi to England and then accompanied him back to Iran. Because of this, Morier displays an astonishing knowledge of certain Iranian customs and beliefs, and is often cognizant of aspects of Iranian life which would have been inaccessible to non-Iranians, it was also surmised that an Iranian had helped Morier to write the book. The Persian translation includes many other critical observations of Iranian life which would not have been known to a non-Iranian author. Initially, it was thought that the translation was the work of Haji Sheykh Ahmad Ruhi, an outspoken opponent of the dictatorial regime of the Qajars in Iran. Later, however, this error was rectified when a letter was discovered that was written by Ruhi to the British Orientalist scholar, E. G. Browne, in which he states that the translation is the work of Mirza Habib Isfahani and asks Browne to help publish it.

The importance of Mirza Habib’s translation and its significance as a literary and social document have been noted by many scholars, including the late poet-Laureate Bahar, who considered this work one of the masterpieces of the 19th-century Persian literature. Even though Sargozasht-e Haji Baba-ye Isfahani is a translation, most Iranians consider it as an original work. This is one of those rare cases in which a translation far surpasses the original and, indeed, becomes an original work of art.

author

James Morier

JAMES MORIER (1780-1849), English traveller and author, was born in 1780. Through the influence of his uncle, Admiral William Waldegrave, Baron Radstock, he entered the diplomatic service, and as secretary to Lord Elgin followed the grand vizier in the Egyptian campaign. An account of his Eastern experiences was published in 1812, under the title "A Journey through Persia, Armenia and Asia Minor to Constantinople" in 1808-9. From 1810 to 1816 he was the British representative at the court of Persia, and after his return he published "A Second Journey through Persia to Constantinople" between the years 1810 and 1816. His knowledge of Eastern life and manners he also turned to account in the composition of several entertaining romances. The most popular of these were The "Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan" (1824), The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan in England (1828), "Zohrab the Hostage" (1832), and "Ayesha the Maid of Kars" (1834). Morier died at Brighton on the 23rd of March 1849.

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