A year after Vita Sackville-West first travelled to Iran - a journey described in the classic "Passenger to Teheran" - she returned to the land that had so captured her imagination. For twelve days, with her husband and three friends, she embarked on a difficult and often dangerous journey through the rugged and wildly-beautiful Bakhtiari Mountains of south-western Iran. It was a landscape that affected Sackville-West profoundly, inspiring what is arguably some of her most lyrical prose; in the same year she wrote her acclaimed poem, "The Land".Interwoven with her magical descriptions of the landscape, she also wrote of her encounters with the Bakhtiari tribe as they embarked on their epic annual migration. The way of life of the Bakhtiari, a people claiming descent from Fereydun, hero of the Shahnameh, has now all but disappeared, the result of persecution by Reza Shah and the encroachments and temptations of modernity. Sackville-West's descriptions of their everyday life are thus a valuable and illuminating portrayal a vanished world.
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