Ahd-e Qajar wa Sawda-ye Farang (Qajar Covenant and European Allure)

This book explores Iran’s dual engagement with modern Europe: a fear of imperial expansion and the reception of European modernity. By reinventing the Persian royal tradition and by hard diplomatic bargaining, but also by absorbing aspects of European (Farangi) culture, Iranians of the Qajar era (1785-1925) tried to come to terms with Europe’s global challenge. A degree of cultural confidence is particularly evident in painting, architecture and poetry of the period. For many Iranians who came into contact with Europe, aspects of Western culture were objects of fascination and appropriation rather than a source of nativist anxiety and ideological defiance.