Journal of a Diplomate's Three Years' Residence in Persia


Edward Backhouse Eastwick (1814–83) was a British orientalist scholar and diplomat, best known for his translations of Persian literary classics. After being educated at Balliol and Merton colleges, Oxford, Eastwick went to India where he joined the Bombay infantry as a cadet. He soon moved over to the East India Company, and later to the British civil service, largely because of his proficiency in languages. In addition to holding various administrative posts in India, Eastwick served as a British diplomat in Persia (Iran) and Venezuela. Journal of a Diplomate’s Three Years’ Residence in Persia is Eastwick’s account of his activities in Persia between 1860 and 1863, a critical period a few years after the Anglo-Persian War of 1856‒57. Eastwick left London on July 1, 1860, and, traveling via Paris, Marseilles, Athens, Istanbul, Sinope, Tbilisi, and Tabriz, arrived in Tehran on October 20, where he took up the post of secretary of the British legation to the court of Persia. He later was put in charge of the British mission in Khorasan, and arrived in Mashhad in August 1862, where he played a role in mediating between the Persian and Afghan governments. He returned to Tehran in December 1862, where he was chargé d’affaires of the British mission, but he was recalled to London in February of the following year. Journal of a Diplomate’s Three Years’ Residence in Persia is in two volumes. Volume one contains a detailed account of Eastwick’s journey to Tehran, descriptions of the working of the British mission and its relations with the French and Russian missions, and accounts of his visits to a number of the provinces. Volume two draws on Eastwick’s time in Mashhad, and is primarily an account of the activities of the Afghan amir Dost Mohammad Khan (reigned 1826‒39 and 1842‒63) and his attack in 1855 on Herat, which at that time was under Persian control and ruled by the governor of Khorasan. The book contains a number of appendices, including a table listing the stages on the route from Trebizond (present-day Trabzon, Turkey) to Tabriz with the distance between stages in hours and miles (total time and distance: 173 hours; 490 miles), and a fold-out pedigree of the reigning shah of Persia.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Smith, Elder, & Company, London


Title in Original Language

Journal of a diplomate's three years' residence in Persia

Type of Item

Physical Description

2 volumes : illustrations, genealogical tables ; 21 centimeters


  1. Parvin Loloi, “Eastwick, Edward Backhouse (1814‒1883), in Encyclopedia Iranica.
  2. Stanley Lane-Poole, revised by Parvin Loloi, “Eastwick, Edward Backhouse (1814‒1883),” in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2004).

Last updated: September 30, 2016