UCLA hosts talk by British Library curator about historic 1889 letter to Iranian king
By Dawn Setzer October 25, 2011 Category: Arts & Humanities
In the summer of 1889, Nasir al-Din Shah, king of Iran from 1848 to 1896, made his second and final visit to England. Since his first visit 16 years earlier, there had been no abatement in the rivalry between Britain and Russia for influence in Tehran. The shah's visit was organized by Sir Henry Drummond Wolff, the British minister in Persia, who had fought hard to promote British commercial and political interests there. During this second visit, the shah received Armenian, Jewish and Parsee delegations, all seeking better treatment for their compatriots in Persia.
This talk will focus on a letter from the Armenians in Manchester, which was delivered to the shah at Buckingham Palace. It will also touch upon the extraordinary careers of two Persian Armenians of the period: Mirza Malkum Khan (born Mekumian Hakob Hovsep, 1883–1908), the Persian ambassador in London, and Hovhannes Khan Massehian (b. 1864), a diplomat and translator to the shahs between 1895 and 1901.
The Rev. Dr. Vrej Nersessian was educated at the Armenian College in Calcutta, India; the Theological Seminary at Holy See of Etchmiadzin; and King's College at the University of London. He has served as curator of books and manuscripts of the Christian Middle East at the British Library since 1975 and has written extensively on Armenian art.
2 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 27
Charles E. Young Research Library presentation room on the UCLA campus (map)
Dated July 4, 1889, the letter was first auctioned in Paris in 2002 and was resold by Christie's of London in 2005, when it was purchased for the British Library by Nersessian.
Dawn Setzer, UCLA Library | email@example.com | 310-825-0746
Contact the UCLA Library to confirm attendance and for parking information.