A New Account of East India and Persia, in Eight Letters. Being Nine Years Travels, Begun 1672. And Finished 1681
John Fryer (circa 1650-1733) was a British traveler and writer. After studying medicine at Cambridge University, he went to India, where he first worked as a surgeon in the employ of the East India Company, with which his family most likely had some kind of connection. He left England in December 1672 and did not return until August 1682. A New Account of East India and Persia, in Eight Letters. Being Nine Years Travels, Begun 1672. And Finished 1681 is Fryer’s account of the time he spent in the East. The book is organized in eight letters, most of which are further divided into chapters. Letter one covers the passage to India. Letters two, three, and four recount Fryer’s time in India. Letter five, by far the longest in the book, is an account of his time in Persia, with detailed descriptions of the Safavid capital of Isfahan, Shiraz, and the ruins of the ancient city of Persepolis. Letter six covers Fryer’s return to India and his stay in the cities of Bharuch, Baharampur, and Surat in present-day western India. Letter seven consists of “General Occurrences and Remarks”; letter eight covers the trip back to England via the Cape of Good Hope and Ascension Island, Saint Helena, and the Azores. The book is rich in details of natural history and is particularly valuable as an account of how medicine was practiced in Persia and India, reflecting Fryer’s training as a physician. Fryer’s writings are known for his lively curiosity and his observations in geology, meteorology, and other scientific fields. He also describes the lives and customs of the minority peoples of Persia, including the Gabrs (Zoroastrians), Armenians, Georgians, and Jews, and offers insights into the activities of rival European powers—the Portuguese, Dutch, and French—in the countries he visited.
R. Chiswell, London
Title in Original Language
A New Account of Eaſt India and Perſia, in Eight Letters. Being Nine Years Travels, Begun 1672. And Finished 1681
Type of Item
427 pages : illustrations, plates, maps ; 32 centimeters
- Michael J. Franklin, “Fryer, John,” Encyclopedia Iranica, http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/freyer-john-writer-and-doctor.
- Gordon Goodwin, revised by Philip Carter, “Fryer, John (d. 1733),” in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2004).
Last updated: August 31, 2016