“The Persian Presence in Victorian Poetry” by Dr Reza Taher-Kermani will be published by Edinburgh University Press


The word ‘Persia’ to the Victorians was not just the name of a territorial entity but a matrix of different notions, created and crafted by a range of oral and written stories, themes and tropes. ‘Persia’ was a product of a mental vision with a long historical heritage, formed by a variety of sources, and circulating in different media. The Victorians responded to this heritage from different perspectives, marked by every shade of social class, religious affiliation, or political allegiance. Dr Reza Taher-Kermani’s upcoming monographing, The Persian Presence in Victorian Poetry, is a study of this diversity of perceptions that ‘Persia’ embodied in Victorian England. 

An Assistant Professor in the Department of Languages, Linguistics, and Literature, Dr Taher-Kermani’s primary area of research is the study of the processes of cultural exchange between Persia (Iran) and Britain, with a particular focus on the ways in which knowledge of Persia and Persian literary culture was received and represented in nineteenth-century British literature and culture. In his first book, Dr Taher-Kermani intersects literary, historical, and cross-cultural studies to explore the variety of ways in which ‘Persia’, and the multitude of ideological, historical, cultural, and political notions associated with it, figure in Victorian poetry. The aim is to uncover the unheeded Persian dimension of Victorian poetry, to unveil the ways by which ‘Persia’ became not a travesty or a misreading in the nineteenth century, but a discourse, a language that was shared, whether knowingly or unknowingly, amongst the Victorians. The Persian Presence in Victorian Poetry will be published later this month by Edinburgh University Press.