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Preparatory Reading


  • R. Yann, Shi’ite Islam: polity, ideology and creed (Oxford, 1995)
  • S. Farman-Farmaian, Daughter of Persia: A Woman's Journey from Her Father's Harem Through the Islamic Revolution (1993)
  • A. Ansari, Modern Iran Since 1921 (Harlow, 2003)
  • The Ruba’iyat of Omar Khayyam, translated by P. Avery and J. Heath-Stubbs, Penguin Classics (London, 1979)
  • Rumi, Spiritual Verses, translated by A. Williams, Penguin Classics (London, 2006)


You are expected to learn the Persian script before you start your course. We recommend that you use:

  • N. Farzad, Teach Yourself Modern Persian (London, 2004)
  • S. Abrahams, Modern Persian, A Course Book (Abingdon, 2005)

You will need a copy of the course books which are:

  • W.M. Thackston, An Introduction to Persian (repr. 1993)
  • A.K.S. Lambton, Persian Grammar, Students’ Edition (Cambridge, 1963)


  • A. Bausani, The Persians from the Earliest Days to the Twentieth Century (London, 1971)
  • E. G. Browne, A Year among the Persians (Cambridge, 1927)
  • R. Mottahedeh, The Mantle of the Prophet (London, 1987)
  • N. Keddie, Roots of Revolution (New Haven, Conn, 1981)


  • A. J. Arberry, Classical Persian Literature (London, 1958)
  • Farid ud-Din Attar, The Conference of the Birds, translated by D. Davis Penguin Classics, (London, 1984)
  • Firdowsi, The Legend of Syavush, translated by D. Davis Penguin classics, (London, 1992)
  • H. Kamshad, Modern Persian Prose (Cambridge, 1966)
  • S. Daneshvar, A Persian Requiem, translated by R. Zand (London, 1991)