giovedì 30 marzo 2017

A Land of Dust and Stones

Titolo: “A Land of Dust and Stones”: British Travellers to Iran 1890s-1920s
Autore: Serena Vianello
Relatore: Emma Sdegno
Correlatore: Jeanne Frances Clegg
Corso di laurea: Lingue e Letterature Europee, Americane e Postcoloniali
Tipo: tesi di laurea
Pagine: 121
Anno accademico: 2012/2013
Link: http://dspace.unive.it/handle/10579/3732

Foto di Teheran. Tratta da "Passengers to Teheran"
di Vita Sackville-West.
Abstract: In my dissertation I aim at providing an overview of the intertwinement of political, cultural and Orientalist motives in British travel and travel writing in the Middle East between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, focussing on a country that, more than others, was at the centre of this phenomenon, that is to say Iran, or Persia, as it was called at that time. In the first chapter, I deal with the main features of nineteenth- and twentieth-century British travel and travel writing, particularly in relation to the Middle East and the Western distorted approach to the Orient called Orientalism. In the second chapter, I focus on Persia and its controversial connections with the British Empire between the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, emphasizing British interference into Persian affairs. Subsequently, I take into account the travel books of some of the most significant British travellers who visited Persia in the nineteenth century and became landmarks for the following travellers, that is to say James Morier, James Fraser, Henry Rawlinson, Henry Layard, Edward Browne and Lord Curzon.
Through the experience of these travellers it is possible to detect some of the main features that characterized nineteenth- and twentieth-century British travel writing in Persia, such as the importance of nature, exoticism and cultural clash.

These first two chapters function as a background for the third, and last, chapter, where I focus on British travellers who visited Persia between the 1890s and the 1920s, and on the analysis of their travel books, on the purpose of retracing the aforementioned characteristics or other recurrent topics as well as unconventional perspectives.
It is divided into four sections on a chronological basis, which present an overview of the different types of British citizens who visited Iran at that time.
In the first section I deal with the travel book of a British woman who travelled to Persia in the 1890s for pleasure, curiosity and personal interests, that is to say Gertrude Bell’s Persian Pictures.
In the second section I take into account the writings of the eminent diplomat Percy Molesworth Sykes, who stayed in Persia between the 1890s and the 1910s for professional reasons, but also shows a sheer interest in the culture of this country in his works.
The third section is focussed on Mrs Hume-Griffith’s travel book Behind the Veil in Persia and Turkish Arabia, which relates the time she spent in Persia with her husband, who was a doctor in a medical mission from 1900 to 1903.
The fourth section is about the wives of ministers or consuls in Persia, focussing on Vita Sackville-West’s Passenger to Teheran and Twelve Days in Persia. Besides being a famous writer and intellectual, she was the wife of Harold Nicolson, who worked as a counsellor in Teheran in the 1920s. Their correspondence as well as Sackville-West’s letters from Persia to Virginia Woolf are a further interesting source of information about her travels in Persia.

Le copertine di "A history of Persia" di Sir P. Molesworth Sykes;
"Journeys in Persia and Kurdistan" di Isabella Bird;
"Ten thousand miles in Persia" di Sir P. Molesworth Sykes.
Nelle nostre biblioteche è possibile trovare alcuni dei testi utilizzati come riferimenti bibliografici, ve ne proponiamo una selezione a questo link: Travel to Persia

A integrazione, vi elenchiamo anche alcune delle risorse disponibili in formato elettronico a cui è possibile accedere come utenti di Ca' Foscari:
- The Impact of the West on Persia
- Some Victorian Lady Travellers
- Shahs, Doctors, Diplomats and Missionaries in 19th Century Iran
- Travel Writing in the Nineteenth Century: Filling the Blank Spaces
- Behind the Veil in Persia and Turkish Arabia: an account of an Englishwoman's eight years' residence amongst the women of the east

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