Three passing mentions of the Faith in a book about a British explorer and travel writer. Includes excerpt from Passionate Nomad: The Life of Freya Stark by J. F. Geniesse.
pages 61, 61
London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1993
1. Text, from Izzard's book
Arrived in Baghdad, Freya put up at the Zia Hotel at fifteen shillings a
day, and immediately threw herself into her adventure with a search for
somewhere cheaper to live. This she found while wandering about the
immediate locality. It was a small mud house in a warren of narrow alleyways
off the town's main thoroughfare, Rashidi Street. Her Arabic was sufficient
to read the notice that it was empty, and on her own initiative she decided
to take it. She negotiated a lease with the help of one of her Syrian introductions,
a young member of the Bahá'í sect employed in the Government
Irrigation Department, and a few days later called at the Education Ministry,
and left a note and her address for the British Adviser there, Lionel Smith,
a friend of the Ker family, to whom she had an introduction. ...
Looked at askance by her fellow-nationals, Freya's bold assertion of her
individuality fell rather flat. It produced feelings of mortification and of
rejection unsuspected by her new acquaintances, and in this perhaps were
sown the seeds of her future overbearingly dismissive attitude to mere wives,
and her distancing of herself from the preoccupations of the local resident
community. As her only 'respectable' connections in British official society,
Lionel Smith and Stefana Drower worked conscientiously to promote Freya's
acceptability to their colleagues. Slowly, she made up the ground she had
lost on arrival, when her association with the American missionaries, and
her handful of introductions to worthy but unglamorous middle-class Iraqis,
members of the Bahá'í sect, did not commend her socially to her compatriots.
Her treks in 1927 and 1928 in Lebanon and Syria had the protective
influence of the Protestant mission community behind them. Similarly in
Persia in May 1930, when she set out alone from Iraq in quest of the
Assassins' lairs, it was Bahá'í introductions in Baghdad who put her in
contact with a local landowner in Qasvin; he consigned her to the care of
one of his tenants in the Alamut and held him responsible for her well-being.
2. Text, from Geniesse's book
Note: the following excerpt is from Passionate Nomad: The Life of Freya Stark, by Jane Fletcher Geniesse (Random House, 1999), online at Google Books. It is included here because it seemed too short to warrant its own post:
... An Arab friend in Damascus had put Freya in touch with a local member of the Bahá'í movement, an enlightened and rationalist religious sect from Persia, who helped her find three rooms up a steep staircase and behind a stout door that had to be opened with a foot-long latchkey. ...
3. Image scans of Izzard's book (click image for full-size version)