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The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan by James Morier (Introduction by Richard Jennings) - First edition thus - 1949 - from PickfordsBooks and Biblio.com

The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan

by James Morier (Introduction by Richard Jennings)

Condition: Original, Good Condition/Good, Brodart cover


London: The Cresset Press, 1949. First edition thus. Hardcover. Cloth/Boards with Gilt lettering. Original, Good Condition/Good, Brodart cover. SINCE its first publication in 1824. Hajji Baba of Ispahan, the first and by far the best of some half-dozen novels written bv James Justinian Morier, artist and diplomat, as well as author, has never been entirely forgotten. It was a success with the intelligent reading public immediately. It has since been several times edited and reprinted. Yet. during the recent years of 'authorized economy standards' , it has been unprocurable in agreeably readable form—a form worthy of its satirical brilliance, its truth to nature, its accurate delineation of Oriental manners, its complete impartiality of characterization. Moreover, it is to be noted that in several well-known manuals of English literature published during the past twentv years the name of Morier does not appear. If, as it would seem, Hajji Baba has been passing through a period of neglect, he deserves to make his reappearance in all his vanity, ruthlessness. cowardice, and occasional fits of penitence and pity. The book belongs to a class of novels enormously popular in English fiction: novels without heroes: picturesque novels without plots. What distinguishes Hajji Baba from all but a very few others in that kind is the unbiased presentation of its villain as hero. Other novelists have tried to capture sympathy for their crooks, or to redeem them, by making them repent; or by representing their evil deeds as forced upon them by social conditions. Others still have spoilt the fun by making their villains so hateful as to be disgusting. Morier, who never intrudes with a veiled moral and who only incidentally disgusts, appears indeed to be entirely indifferent to his rogue's character and fate. The book is told in the first person—inevitably, thus allowing the author to stand aside and to allow Hajji Baba to reveal and to confess himself to us freely without interruption. We cannot judge him: he amuses us too much.

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