Persian Pictures (Anthem Travel Classics) (Paperback)
This brilliant, vivid and impressionistic series of sketches, formed during her 1892 stay in Persia, is Gertrude Bell's first published work. Infused with a distinctive orientalism, 'Persian Pictures' is an evocative, virtuosic meditation, moving sinuously between Persia's heroic, complex, mythical past and its present decline; the public face of Tehran and the otherworldly 'secret, mysterious life of the East', the lives of its women, its enclosed, quasi-medieval gardens; from the bustling cities to the lonely wastelands of Khorasan. Bell's documentation of Muharram - the month of mourning for Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed - and Ramadan, display a mind finely attuned to the differences and similarities between Islam and Christianity, East and West. 'Persian Pictures' is both travelogue and meditation, an elegiac and beautifully observed account of a spellbinding land.