|07-18-2012, 07:41 PM||#1|
Joined: Jun 2006
The earliest accounts...
The first known account of any of the events relating to Bábí and Bahá'í history was the report sent by the British consul in Baghdad, Major Henry Rawlinson, to the British Foreign Office relating to the arrest and imprisonment of Mullá `Alí Bastámí in early 1845.
The first published account was that of proclamation by the Báb of his mission in Mecca and the arrest and punishment of four of the Báb's disciples in Shiraz, and the arrest of the Báb. This account appeared in The Times of London on 1 November 1845.
Other important early accounts include those of Lady Mary Sheil, the wife of the British Minister in Tehran, in her book, Life and Manners in Modern Persia (London, 1856, pp. 176-81, 273-82); Dr Jakob Polak in Persien.
Das Land und seine Bewohner (Leipzig, 1865, p. 350) as well as the reports sent by the foreign diplomatic representatives resident in Iran, Lt-Col. Justin Sheil, the British minister, Prince Dimitri Dolgorukov, the Russian minister, and Joseph Ferrier, the French agent. Most of these early accounts described the Bábís as violent revolutionaries and socialists--which no doubt reflected both the official Iranian government account of the movement and the prejudices of the writers.
It was the appearence of the book Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale (Paris, 1865) by Arthur, Comte de Gobineau (q.v.) which more than anything else served to bring the Bábí movement to the attention of the West.
This book, together with Mirza Kazem-Beg's book, Bab i Babidui (St Petersburg, 1865), which also came out in French translation in the Journal Asiatique in 1866, gave rise to a large number of articles in many of the well-known magazines of Europe and North America (for a list of these, see BBR 23-26). So great was the coverage given to the new religion that, in 1871, the well-known writer and critic Matthew Arnold was able to say that Babism was a movement "of which most people in England have at least heard the name." (BBR 25)
From Moojan Momen