Donaldson, Bess. 2015. The wild rue of Persia: Magic, myth and folklore in Iran. London: I. B. Tauris.
The Wild Rue is a unique study of myth and magic in Iran. Bess Donaldson spent thirty years in Iran as both missionary and teacher and in this classic work she records the beliefs and superstitions of country at a time when they were increasingly under threat from the tremendous changes brought about by the Shah’s program of modernization. This earlier way of life, with its belief in angels and the evil eye, and with its age-old rituals surrounding childbirth and burial, is recounted in an informed yet highly readable text. A unique study of magic, myth and folklore with chapters on cosmology, names and numbers, snakes, dreams, talismans and signs, childbirth, angels, the evil eye, and the calendar. A classic work, long unavailable but now back in print.
A preview of the book is available here.
About the author:
Bess Allen Donaldson was an American Presbyterian missionary and teacher. She began teaching at the Iran Bethel Girl’s School in 1910, eventually becoming its principal. Bess Donaldson spent thirty years in Iran, during which time she gathered the material for The Wild Rue.