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  1. from the Chronology
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from the chronology

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1865 (In the year) 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. He relied heavily on the Násikhu't-Taváríkh (The History to Abrogate All Previous Histories) written by Lisánu'l-Mulk. Bahá'u'lláh had condemned this account as "a falsification of history, one which even an infidel would not have had the effrontery to produce". [SUR36-37]
  • "The Comte de Gobineau’s work with its obvious parallels drawn between the life and martyrdom of the Báb with that of Jesus Christ, was the most influential volume in carrying the story to Western minds. The English poet and cultural critic Matthew Arnold, in A Persian Passion Play, wrote that the chief purpose of Gobineau’s book was to give a history of the career of Mirza Ali Mahommed…the founder of Bâbism, of which most people in England have at least heard the name. The notion that most people in England, in Arnold’s view, were aware of the Báb indicates how deeply His fame had penetrated into far-off societies." [Tales of Magnificent Heroism: The impact of the Báb and His followers on writers and artists by Robert Weinberg.
  • Gobineau's work was written when Mírzá Yahyá was still known as the nominal head of the Bábí Faith between 1855 and 1858 when Gobineau was First Secretary and Chargé d'Affaires of the French Legation. Two embassy employees during his time there were ardent supporters of Mírzá Yahyá, one of whom was his brother-in-law. (He served as the Ambassador from March 1862 until September 1863.)
  • 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, MCS483; 500; 512 The Comte de Gobineau’s Religions et Philosophies dans l’Asie Centrale (1865)—with its obvious parallels drawn between the life and martyrdom of the Báb with that of Jesus Christ—was the most influential volume in carrying the story to Western minds. The English poet and cultural critic Matthew Arnold, in A Persian Passion Play, wrote that the chief purpose of Gobineau’s book was to give a history of the career of Mirza Ali Mahommed…the founder of Bâbism, of which most people in England have at least heard the name. The notion that most people in England, in Arnold’s view, were aware of the Báb indicates how deeply His fame had penetrated into far-off societies.
  • France; Iran Joseph Comte de Gobineau; Babi studies; Edward Granville Browne; Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal); Matthew Arnold
    1871 16 Oct The famous British writer and critic, Matthew Arnold, made a brief reference to the Faith in an address that he gave to the Birmingham and Midland Institute. (See M. Momen, Babi and Bahá'í Religions). This reference was probably because of Comte de Gobineau's book Les Religions et Les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale which was published in 1865. [First Public Mentions of the Bahá'í Faith in the West by Bahá'í Information Office of the UK] Birmingham; Matthew Arnold; Comte de Gobineau

    from the chronology of Canada

    from the main catalogue

    1. Tales of Magnificent Heroism: The Impact of the Báb and His Followers on Writers and Artists, by Robert Weinberg, in Bahá'í World (2019). This concise survey explores how this particular episode in humanity’s religious history resonated so strongly through the decades that followed. [about]
     
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