Boston/New York/Cincinnati: Gould and Lincoln/Sheldon and Company/Geo. S.Blanchard, 1863. First Edition. 8” x 5¼”. Brown cloth. Pp. 303 + frontis + folding map + 8 pp. Boston publisher's ads. Very good: covers and spine gently faded; light spotting throughout.
This is a compilation of the writings and observations of the first single woman to work as a missionary in Iran, Fidelia Fisk. With a large folding map, illustrations and dramatic descriptions of the region and its inhabitants, the book gives particular attention to the lives of Iranian women.
Fidelia Fisk (also spelled Fiske) was born in Massachusetts in 1816. She graduated from Mount Holyoke Female Seminary (now Mount Holyoke College) in 1842 and was promptly appointed to the faculty there. One year later she was recruited by Presbyterian missionary Justin Perkins, who was the first United States citizen to reside in Iran. Fisk worked as an educator, missionary and nurse in Iran for 15 years. She founded and served as principal of the Urmia Seminary, the first school for girls in the nation. It was later renamed the Fiske Seminary in her honor.
This work was compiled by Scottish missionary Thomas Laurie, who gathered accounts of Fisk's work from conversations with her friends and fellow missionaries, as well as from her letters. Fisk argued for the need to “cleanse” and “purify” the people of Iran through Christian seminary schooling. The text provides a history of missionary work in the region along with Fisk's observations on the behavior, practices, “progress and promise” of Iranian women.
The book features seven illustrations that were done by a missionary who traveled with the author. These include two fullpage (one the frontispiece) and five smaller throughout. There is also a large folding map of the “Country of the Nestorians,” the area occupied by the Assyrian people.
Compelling accounts of a female missionary's life and work with Iranian women. Well-represented in institutions, rare in the trade. Very good. Item #7553