Travels in Persia

Hardcover, 287 pages

English language

Published Jan. 5, 1972 by AMS Press.


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4 stars (1 review)

In this remarkable account of his second sojourn in Persia, the author paints a splendid prose portrait, full of color and detail, of an ancient land and its people. In his company we attend the Shah's court, witnessing solemn audiences with foreign envoys, sumptuous banquets and lavish entertainments, as well as the desperate intrigues and cruelty of the drunken Shah. We also read of Chardin's struggle to obtain payment for jewels he has bought, of the character of Persian courtiers, of damange done by an earthquake, and many other aspects of life in Isfahan. In addition there are superb descriptions of the soil, climate, flora and fauna; the temper, manner and customs of the Persians; foods, liquors, games, clothing and household goods; trade and manufacturing and much more.

2 editions

One of the better 17th century books I've read

4 stars

So, I read the first book of this multi book series by a Huguenot jeweler recounting his time traveling to Persia in the 1680s. The first half of the book is about his time passing through modern day Turkey and through Georgia and Armenia before getting to Azerbaijan and then into Persia proper. It's incredibly readable and breezy for something published in 1691, though you have to get Used to Randomly Capitalized words and Shoddy Orthography and typesetting where s and f look the same.

The book is half day to day diary, and half digressions on politics and religion and economics and geography. Chardin has reasonable command of English and Persian in addition to his native French. (This book was originally written in French but he collaborated on its English translation.) His understanding of history and etymology is pretty good for someone of his era though there is a …


  • Iran -- Description and travel -- Early works to 1800