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Illustrated title page from 'A relation of some yeares travaile'

Illustrated title page from A relation of some yeares travaile

Sir Thomas Herbert, A relation of some yeares travaile, London, printed by William Stansby and Jacob Bloome, 1634

State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, RARES 910.4 H41

Sir Thomas Herbert’s book documents his journey to the court of Shah ʿAbbas I, with Sir Dodmore Cotton and Sir Robert Sherley. Highly observant of the luxuries of the Persian court, Herbert described the ‘Ganymed boys in Vests of cloth of gold, rich bespangled Turbants and embroidered Sandals’. His book also makes what is possibly the first reference in English to the poets Saʿdi and Hafiz.

Herbert’s popular account inspired a number of plays about Shah ʿAbbas, such as Sir John Denham’s The Sophy (1642) and Robert Baron’s Mirza (c 1647).

Herbert’s book was subsequently known by the title above, but this first edition also contains this second title page.