غول آباد؛ دانشنامهٔ مردمی یزد
مهمان گرامی، خوش آمدید! - قلعه -
Women of the desert city
\ Article introduction
The following text, is an article by Mary Boazman published in the Lady’s Realm monthly magazine, volume 22, issue 144, dated October 1908, in London. Parts of this article were subsequently published in other newspapers and magazines of England and America.
The Lady’s Realm illustrated monthly magazine was published in England from 1896 to 1916. This women’s magazine was popular, and distributed in America and Canada as well. Unfortunately, not much information could be found about the author of this article. All we know is that she was British, an advocate of women’s rights, and that a number of articles written by her have been published in newspapers and magazines.
Prior to the publication of this article, a number of good books about the country and people of Iran were published in England. Among them was a book entitled Five years in a Persian town published in London in 1905, three years before the publication of this article, which contained the findings of the researches of Napier Malcolm -English missionary priest- about the city and people of Yazd.
Therefore, there is the possibility that the author wrote this article without traveling to Yazd, and only by reading these books and interviewing Rev Napier Malcolm and his wife, Dr Urania Latham, who returned to England from Persia in January 1908.
However, the author seems to have actually come to Yazd in a summer between 1901 and 1906, during the reign of Mozaffar ad-Din Shah Qajar. In Yazd, she was hosted by her fellow countrymen at the Church Missionary Society. She was assumed to have stayed in a large and luxurious house and was mostly in contact with the aristocrat women of Yazd.
The author discusses the city of Yazd and its girls, women, houses, kitchens, baths, Muslims, and Zoroastrians in this article. Her descriptions in some cases are incorrect. For example, where she speaks about andaruni (1) and biruni (2) in Yazd’s houses, she mixes up the two words and uses them incorrectly; that have been corrected in the article.
Although much information of this article could be found in other sources, it nevertheless is counted as a Qajar document, and it will be very valuable to those interested in Yazd’s culture and history.
The most interesting part of this article is a detailed description of the hen party of the wife of one of the Yazd’s high officials, as told by one of the author’s friends. This high official could be Hussein Mirza Jalal ad-Dowlah, who was Yazd’s governor for his third term between 1900 and 1904 and had a great relationship with the British residents of Yazd. However, since the narrator did not use the word governor precisely, the high official could also be Moshir al-Mamalek or someone else.
There are good books and resources on the conditions in Yazd and the status of women in the late Qajar era. For example, this article was cross-referenced with the following two books, and some of the issues were mentioned in the footnotes:
1- Five years in a persian town; by Napier Malcolm; London 1905.
4- Final word
There may be a few misleading or offensive words in this article which are the result of inaccurate information or misconceptions of the author. This long article was published in three separate sections entitled Women of Yazd, Hen party in Yazd and Special photos.