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Sweet Boy Dear Wife

Jane Dieulafoy in Persia 1881-1886

Heather Rossiter

Sweet Boy Dear Wife
'What! That sweet boy is a woman?' asked the Shah.
'Indeed, your Majesty,' replied Colonel Dieulafoy, 'she is Madame Dieulafoy, my dear wife.'

Captivated by enamelled tiles and bricks used in Islamic buildings, Jane Dieulafoy's search in great cities and small villages, despite illness, religious fanatics and wild tribesmen, is an exciting story of risk and resolve. Blue-eyed Jane dressed as a boy to accompany her husband on digs in Persia, where women were veiled and enclosed. Her adventures led to the unexpected discovery of enamelled brick friezes in the 2500-year-old city of Susa. Displayed at the Louvre Museum in 1886, the Lion and Archer friezes created a sensation and remain today among the Louvre's greatest treasures.

Sweet Boy Dear Wife: Jane Dieulafoy in Persia 1881-1886 is based on Jane's diaries. Princes and lowly Persians, nomads, tribal chiefs and functionaries fill the pages, but particularly resonant are the women, both vital tribal women and pathetic creatures locked in anderuns (harems). Their subjugation saddened Jane, an early feminist, who believed passionately that women should be free to live dignified independent lives.

Praise for Sweet Boy Dear Wife:
'With the renewed interest in Iran following the lifting of the sanctions, this fascinating book should attract wide interest.' - Judith Morrell Nathan, Scoop Review of Books

'This book vividly brings the world of late nineteenth century Iran into focus ... While the world today has changed somewhat, the sights and smells that assailed Jane in the markets of Isfahan and Shiraz are still there: giving the modern reader some empathy for the world Jane travelled through.' - Ben Churcher, Near Eastern Archaeology Foundation Bulletin

'Could such a woman have really existed in the late 1880s? Unbelievable as it might seem, this is not fiction ... The book is an interesting combination of biography, history, and travel. So much so, I've now added Iran to my travel wish list.' - Helen Eddy, ReadPlus

'A pleasure to read.' - Lynne Lancaster, Sydney Arts Guide

'Rossiter’s expertise in Jane’s life, Persia’s history and in writing non-fiction is apparent throughout the book. ... If you’re at all interested in fascinating and pioneering women, Sweet Boy Dear Wife is an excellent read.' - Cin Peeler, Lip mag

'This finely crafted, sympathetic account of a courageous, fragile woman determined not to be limited by gender simultaneously sweeps through the history and achievements of Persia (Iran).' - Justice Mary Finn, Canberra

'Heather Rossiter cleverly and evocatively weaves into the story of Jane Dieulafoy's 6000 km horseback ride across Persia an appreciation of Persia's exquisite painted and glazed tiles and of the architectural jewels that left lifelong impressions on Western travellers and stimulated new trends in European building.' - Dr Stefano Carboni, Director, Art Gallery of Western Australia

Heather Rossiter is a scientist, writer and traveller who lives in Sydney. She is the author of Lady Spy, Gentleman Explorer: The life of Herbert Dyce Murphy and Mawson’s Forgotten Men: The 1911–1913 diary of Charles Turnbull Harrisson, while her articles, book reviews and travel pieces have appeared in Australian and overseas newspapers and magazines.

Besides studying Eastern and Oriental Art in Oxford and Islamic monuments at UCLA, Heather Rossiter has travelled extensively in North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. In 2001 at Susa, Iran, she was captivated by Jane Dieulafoy’s story.

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Category Biography/Autobiography/True Stories
Format Paperback
Size 234 x 160 mm
ISBN 9781743053782
Extent 364 pages
Price: AU$39.95 including GST
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