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Dr Frederick D’Evelyn

March 24, 2011

by Iain Palin

The basis for these notes on Dr D’Evelyn can be found on Iain Palin’s UK Bahá’í Heritage website, along with the subjects of some of the other essays collected here.

Frederick W. D’Evelyn appears to have been the first person of Irish birth to accept the Bahá’í Faith. He was born in Belfast in or about 1855. Information about his early life is scanty but it is known that he qualified in medicine at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and subsequently served in a medical capacity with the British army in the South African campaigns, being wounded in 1887.

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Lady Mary

March 4, 2011

Author of Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia

by Brendan Mc Namara

The diary that Lady Mary Leonora Woulfe Sheil kept during her sojourn in Persia between the years 1849 and 1852, Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia, has long been renowned for its contribution towards understanding Persian society during those turbulent years.1 Lady Sheil found herself domiciled in Tehran during extraordinary times. Her chronicle has found its own niche in the pantheon of travel literature of the time and contains some of the earliest published references to events surrounding the birth of the Faith of the Báb, including an account of His Martyrdom.2 But who was Lady Mary Leonora Woulfe Sheil and how did she find herself in the Persia of Nasir al-Din Shah?

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Dr William Cormick

January 17, 2011

by Vincent Flannery

Vincent’s essay on Dr Cormick was first published in Solas, the Irish Bahá’í studies review.

John and William Cormick

On the borders of Counties Kilkenny and Tipperary in South East Ireland, at the ancient Ahenny monastery, stand two ringed High Crosses (in the north and south of the site), symbols of that great age of the island’s history when Irishmen travelled far and wide. The crosses are considered to be the first of their kind, dating to the ninth century. Although uniquely Irish, their visual references draw from other cultures; elaborately carved geometric strapwork ornament, thought to have originated in Coptic Ethiopia, as well as figurative ornaments depicting scenes that include the Garden of Eden.1 A special feature of the north cross is its unusual, large conical capstone.

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January 17, 2011

This is the foreword from the book, contributed by Professor Seosamh Watson, who has kindly given permission for it to be included here.

The desire to enquire into one’s origins is surely a true sign of maturity in life. It is certainly the case with families: with the children growing or grown there is a sense of common direction, as well, hopefully, as some sense of achievement. The mind is now cast back to relatives we knew in earlier times, those ‘latter generations’ – beloved grandparents, old family friends or neighbours, each with precious memories of their own. These are the ones who raised us up, helped propel us along life’s highway, assisting us – sometimes unwittingly – to set our chosen course. Looking back we feel a sense of pride in these loved ones, of thankfulness to them for their labour and their sacrifices – life was harder then and opportunities fewer. We feel sorrow, too, for we can no longer speak to them, thank them for their help and rejoice with them. But, most of all, we feel sad about the questions we didn’t think to ask them then. All the tiny hints and clues we still recall that could have burgeoned into story, for, as the saying goes, tarraingíonn scéal scéal, ‘one tale leads to another’.

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January 6, 2011

This is the first post on this site, and serves as an introduction to Connections and to whatever else comes to be posted here.

A couple of years ago, I published a small volume of essays and notes on early links between the Bahá’í Faith and Ireland, titled Connections. The book consists of eight chapters of varying length, each dealing with one of these links and written by myself and others. These notes comprise the fruits of some original research, and the response has been very positive.

The aim of this website is to open this work up to whoever may be in some way interested. Hopefully someone may come across this work and in some small way be informed, enlightened or inspired.

I will post the material from the book as published, only making changes to accommodate the differences between an internet posting and the printed page. Should anyone desire such a thing, a print-ready version of the book in pdf format is available on request.