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from the chronology

date event locations tags see also
1865 French diplomat Joseph Comte de Gobineau published Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale, over half of which is devoted to a study of the Bábí movement. This work attracted a number of other European intellectuals, including E. G. Browne of Cambridge, who eventually became the most prolific western writer and researcher of the Bábi religion. [BBR17]

Mírzá Kazem-Beg of St Petersburg University publishes Bab Babidy, the first Western book written entirely on the subject of the Bábí religion. [BBR26]

Paris; France; St. Petersburg; Russia Comte de Gobineau; Babi studies; Mirza Kazem-Beg; First publications
1873. 12 Apr Birth of Hippolyte Dreyfus, the first French Bahá'í, in Paris. Named by Shoghi Effendi a Disciple of `Abdu'l-Bahá. Paris; France Hippolyte Dreyfus-Barney; Disciples of Abdul-Baha; First Bahais by country or area; Births and deaths
1879 Nov 30 Birth of Laura Clifford Barney (Laura Dreyfus-Barney) in Cincinnati, Ohio. She compiled Some Answered Questions from her interviews with `Abdu'l-Bahá during her visit to Acca between 1904 and 1906. (d. Paris 18 August 1974) Cincinnati; Paris Some Answered Questions; Laura Clifford Barney
1899 Spring On her return from pilgrimage, May Bolles establishes the first Bahá'í group on the European continent in Paris. [AB159; BBRSM106; BFA2:151; GPB259; SBBH1:93]
  • For information on those who became Bahá'ís in Paris, including Thomas Breakwell, the `first English believer', and Hippolyte Dreyfus, the `first Frenchman to embrace the Faith', see BFA2:151–2, 154–5; and GBP259.
Paris; France May Maxwell (Bolles); Thomas Breakwell; Hippolyte Dreyfus-Barney
1899. 3 Dec Charles Mason Remey becomes a Bahá'í in Paris through May Bolles. [BFA2:151–2] Paris; France Charles Mason Remey; May Maxwell (Bolles)
1900 26 Nov Agnes Alexander accepts the Faith in Rome after hearing the message from Mrs Dixon. She stays in Rome for three months studying prophecies then travels to Paris for further study with May Bolles for another three and one half months. She leaves Paris in the Spring of 1901 for London, New England, Oakland, Ca and finally Honolulu. [BFA1p159] Rome; Italy; Paris; France; Oakland; California; London; United Kingdom; Honolulu; Hawaii Agnes Alexander; May Maxwell (Bolles)
1901 summer Thomas Breakwell, an Englishman living in the United States, learns of the Bahá'í Faith in Paris from May Bolles. Within three days he becomes a believer and immediately writes to `Abdu'l-Bahá. [AB74–5; BW7:707]
  • For May Bolles' own account see SW7:707–11.
  • He is the first male British Bahá'í. [BFA2:154]
  • He is designated by Shoghi Effendi the `first English believer'. [GPB259]
  • He is the first Western Bahá'í to pay Huqúqu'lláh. [BW7:70]
  • See also AB74–80; BFA2:154; SEBW6572.
Paris; France Thomas Breakwell; May Maxwell (Bolles); Huququllah; First Bahais by country or area; Firsts, Other
1901 Hippolyte Dreyfus hears of the Bahá'í Faith from May Bolles in Paris and soon after accepts it. [AB81–2]
  • He is designated by Shoghi Effendi the `first Frenchman to embrace the Faith'. [GPB259]
  • He is the first European Bahá'í to visit Iran. [AB81]
  • After his marriage to Laura Clifford Barney he adopts the surname Dreyfus-Barney. [AB81]
Paris; France Hippolyte Dreyfus-Barney; May Maxwell (Bolles); Laura Clifford Barney
1902 13 Jun Thomas Breakwell dies from tuberculosis in Paris. (b. 31 May, 1872 in Woking) [AB77; BBD46; SEBW70]
  • `Abdu'l-Bahá appears to know this without being told. [AB78-9; SEBW70]
  • Shoghi Effendi designates him one of three `luminaries shedding brilliant lustre on annals of Irish, English and Scottish Bahá'í communities'. [MBW174]
  • See AB79, SEBW71–2 and SWAB187–9 for `Abdu'l-Bahá's eulogy.
  • See wikipedia for an account of his life.
  • See Cimetière de Pantin for the location of his resting place c/w photos.
Woking; England; Paris; France Thomas Breakwell; In Memoriam
1905 (In the year) A.L.M. Nicolas published his book Seyyed Ali dit le Bab. It was the first work by a western author dedicated entirely to the Báb, His movement and His teachings. The preamble to his book has an image that is supposedly of the Báb, but the portrait does not seem to be an authentic representation. William Miller also reproduced Nicolas’s image on page 17 of his polemical work, The Bahá'í Faith: Its History and Teachings. (South Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 1974). [‘The Bab in the World of Images’, Baha’i Studies Review, vol. 19, June 2013, 171–90.] Paris; France A.L.M. Nicolas; William Miller; Babi studies; First publications; Publications
1907 Lady Blomfield and her daughter Mary learn of the Faith at a reception in Paris. [CH1–2; ER95; SBR22; SEBW101, SCU17]
  • For accounts of Lady Blomfield's life see ER88–97 and SEBW101–10.
Paris Lady Blomfield; Mary Blomfield
1911 3 Oct `Abdu'l-Bahá leaves London for Paris. [AB154; SBR25, In the Footsteps of 'Abdu'l-Bahá p22]
  • See ABL113 for details of His last day in London. He left from Victoria Station.
  • He was accompanied by many Bahá'ís from England who attended many of the public meeting at which He spoke in Paris. This group included Marion Jack. [NBAD47]
  • He remains in Paris for nine weeks. [AB159; GPB280]
  • For details of His visit see AB159–68.
  • For `Abdu'l-Bahá's talks given in Paris see PT.
London; United Kingdom; Paris; France Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, First Western tour; Marion Jack; Abdul-Baha, Life of; Abdul-Baha, Writings and talks of
1911 15 Oct In the morning 'Abdu'l-Bahá gives a talk at His apartment at #4 Avenue de Camoens. During the talk Muhammad Qazvíní and Siyyid Hasan Taqízásih entered the room. The former had written an introduction for and was the force behind the publication of Kitáb-i-Nuqtatu'l-Káf, a book that supposedly was an early history of the Faith but in reality was heavily biased to the the views of Mírzá Yahya. 'Abdu'l-Bahá had had Mírzá Abdu'l-Fadl write a refutation. Both men had additional dinner engagements with 'Abdu'l-Bahá during His visit. ['Abdu'l-Bahá's Meetings with Two Prominent Iranians, World Order, Fall 1998 Vol 30, no 1 pp35-46]

In the afternoon all are invited to meet Him at #22 rue Seeden Rollin pre Saint Germais-sur-Seine outside the walls of Paris. For an account of this event see Glimpses of Abdul'Bahá in Paris by Alice Beede.

Paris; France Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, First Western tour; Kitab-i-Nuqtatul-Kaf; Criticism and apologetics; Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani; Muhammad Qazvini; Siyyid Hasan Taqizasih
1911 10 Nov `Abdu'l-Bahá gives a talk later entitled "The Evolution of the Spirit" at 15 Rue Greuze, Paris. [Paris Talks p88-94] Paris; France Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, First Western tour; Abdul-Baha, Talks other
1911 2 Dec `Abdu'l-Bahá leaves Paris and returns to Egypt where He takes up residence in Rameh again. He passed the winter here and then embarked on His Second Western tour in March of 1912. [AB167; GPB280; SBR25] Egypt; Paris; France Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, First Western tour; Abdul-Baha, Life of
1912 The publication of The Brilliant Proof by Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl Gulpáygání in Chicago by the Bahai News Service, 1912. The first edition notes state that it was written December 28, 1911, in Syria, "by the pen of Mirza Abul Fazl Gulpaygan."
  • The publication of this book marks the end of an early era of Bahá'í teaching in the West. As 'Abdu'l-Bahá continued his journeys in the United States and Canada, He delivered hundreds of public talks and private addresses which were tailored to Western audiences. The fresh outpouring of teachings which resulted from these encounters produced a new Bahá'í literature of the words of 'Abdu'l-Bahá in the West. Examples include the following: The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by `Abdu'l-Bahá During His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912, compiled by Howard MacNutt, (Wilmette, Ill.: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1922-25); Paris Talks: Addresses Given by `Abdu'l-Bahá in Paris in 1911-1912 (London: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1912); 'Abdu'l-Bahá in London..
Chicago; United States Brilliant Proof (book); Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani; Promulgation of Universal Peace (book); Paris Talks (book); Abdul-Baha in London (book); Bahai literature; Publications
1912 In the year The first publication of the book that has come to be titled Paris Talks initially called Talks by Abdul Baha Given in Paris. Prior to this, in the autumn of 1911, Mornings Spent with Abdul Baha Abbas in London and Paris had been published which, of course, did not include information from His visit the following year.

In 1924 the title was changed to The Wisdom of Abdul Baha from Addresses delivered in Paris 1910-1911. Talks by Abdul Baha Given in Paris...with supplementary historical note and introduction was printed in 1936 with the following editions starting in 1945 using the title that is currently used Paris Talks: Addresses Given by 'Abdu'l-Bahá in Paris in 1911-1912

Counting the initial publication, there have been 19 editions in English including one in Braille and an audio recording. In addition, there have been multiple editions in some 25 other languages. ['Abdu'l-Bahá in France 1911 to 1913 p726-730]

Paris Talks (book); First publications; Publications; Translation
1912 18 Dec 'Abdu'l-Bahá gives a talk at which E. G. Browne is present. He visits `Abdu'l-Bahá several more times while in London. [SoW Vol III no19 2Mar1913 p4, AB346, ABTM277-278]

Hájí Abu'l-Hasan-i-Ardakání (Hájí Amín) arrives in London from Paris with three young Persian. He spoke neither English nor French and had had some difficulty in getting from Paris to London. He crossed the English Channel and then found himself back in Paris. His second attempt was successful. [SoW Vol III no19 2Mar1913 p4, AB346–7, ABTM278]

London; United Kingdom; Paris; France Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, Second Western tour; Edward Granville Browne; Haji Amin (Abul-Hasan-i-Ardikani)
1913 21 Jan `Abdu'l-Bahá leaves London for Paris. [AB371]
  • The visit to Paris lasts several weeks. [AB372; SBR220]
London; United Kingdom; Paris; France Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, Second Western tour
1913 6 Feb `Abdu'l-Bahá visits Versailles. [AB376] Paris; Versailles; France Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, Second Western tour
1913 17 Feb For the text of an interview, originally published in the Bahá'í Studies Review, vol. 3:1 (1993), with Pasteur Monnier during which 'Abdu'l-Bahá spoke on the relationship between the Bahá'í Faith and Christianity, see Khazeh Fananapazir site.
  • Pasteur Henri Monnier (b. 1871) was the "Professor á la Faculté libre de théologie protestante de Paris", Vice-president of the Protestant Federation of France and Pastor of the Etoile Church [from International Who's Who, 1st ed.]
Paris; France Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, Second Western tour; Christianity; Interfaith dialogue; Pasteur Monnier
1913 30 Mar `Abdu'l-Bahá travels from Paris to Stuttgart. [AB379]
  • He tells His attendants to wear European dress and to discard their oriental headgear. [AB379]
  • He does not tell the Bahá'ís of Stuttgart of His arrival in advance. [AB379]
Paris; France; Stuttgart; Germany Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, Second Western tour
1913 1 May `Abdu'l-Bahá leaves Stuttgart and returns to Paris. [AB391] Stuttgart; Germany; Paris; France Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, Second Western tour
1913 12 Jun `Abdu'l-Bahá leaves Paris for Marseilles, arriving the same evening. [AB395]

In total 'Abdu'-Bahá spent about 171 days in Paris.

3 October to 2 December 1911 - 60 days          
 21 January to 30 March 1913 - 69 days          
       1 May to 12 June 1913 - 42 days          
                      Total   171 days          
Paris; Marseilles; France Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, Second Western tour
1928 20 Dec Hippolyte Dreyfus-Barney, Disciple of Abdu’l-Bahá, passes away in Paris. [UD84–5]
  • For Shoghi Effendi’s eulogy of him see BW3:210–14 and UD84–5.
Paris; France Hippolyte Dreyfus-Barney; Disciples of Abdul-Baha; In Memoriam
1939 Feb A.L.M. Nicolas, the French consular official and Orientalist who made a study of the Bábí Faith, passes away in Paris.
  • His important collection of manuscripts is auctioned and the items relevant to the Bahá’í and Bábí Faiths are purchased by the Bahá’í World Centre.
Paris; France A.L.M. Nicolas; Babi studies; Bahai studies
1959 Ridván The first local spiritual assembly in Grenada is formed in St George’s Parish. St George’s Parish; Grenada LSA
1974 18 Aug Laura Clifford Dreyfus-Barney, compiler of Some Answered Questions, passes away in Paris. [BW16:296]
  • For her obituary see BW16:535–8.
Paris; France Laura Clifford Barney; In Memoriam; Births and deaths
1976 3 – 6 Aug An International Teaching Conference is held in Paris, attended by some 5,700 Bahá’ís. [BW17:81; DM416; VV33]
  • For the message of the Universal House of Justice see BW17:131–2.
  • For the message of Kurt Waldheim, Secretary-General of the United Nations, see BW17:140.
  • For pictures see BW17:109, 117–19.
Paris; France; Europe Kurt Waldheim; United Nations; United Nations, Secretary-Generals; Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, Teaching; Conferences, International; Teaching
1988 Branches of the Bahá’í International Community’s Office of Public Information are established in Paris and London. [VV54] Paris; London BIC
1993 In the year EBBF was registered in Paris as an official non-profit association. Its statutes provide that membership is open to Bahá'ís and non-Bahá'ís alike. [ebbf] Paris; France European Bahai Business Forum (EBBF); Business

from the main catalogue

  1. 'Abdu'l-Baha's Meeting with Two Prominent Iranians, by Muhammad Qazvini, in World Order, 30:1 (1998). Muhammad Qazvini's and Siyyid Hasan Taqizadeh's descriptions of their 1911 meetings with `Abdu'l-Baha in Paris. Preceded by a brief biography of Abdu'l-Baha. [about]
  2. Account of How I Became a Bahá'í and My Stays in Paris in 1901 and 1937, An: Written at the Request of Mrs. Laura Dreyfus-Barney, by Agnes Baldwin Alexander (1958). [about]
  3. Glimpse of Abdu'l-Bahá in Paris, by Alice R. Beede, in Star of the West, 2:18 (1912). Short account of a brief meeting in Paris, and brief speech by Abdu'l-Baha. [about]
  4. Letters Written on Behalf of the Guardian, by Universal House of Justice, in Lights of Irfan, Volume 8 (2007). Three questions: Letters Written on Behalf of Shoghi Effendi; Status of Research Department Memoranda; Bahá'í Writings Based in Fact? [about]
  5. Paris Talks, by Abdu'l-Bahá (1972). [about]
  6. Questions and Answers 1950-51, by Mirra Alfassa (1951). The Mother's recollections of Abdu'l-Baha speaking to her about sacrifice and suffering. [about]
  7. Words of Long Ago, by Mirra Alfassa (1912). Transcript of a talk The Mother delivered to some Baha'is in Paris in 1912 by request of Abdu'l-Baha; reflections inspired by the departure of Abdu'l-Baha from Paris in June 1913. [about]
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