Passage to Persia: Writings of an American doctor during her life in Iran, 1929-1957
Margaret A Frame
Adelaide Kibbe was a 27 year-old missionary physician when she set out from New York on the steamer SS American Banker, headed for Iran, in 1929. Her route to Persia took her through England, Scandinavia, Germany, Switzerland and Egypt, all detailed in her letters.
Little did she know it would be 28 years before she returned home, and during the ensuing decades would see huge cultural and political changes in her adopted country. She saw the development of modern roads, railway and air transport, the spread of telephones and radio, and modern schools in the cities, bringing literacy to girls as well as boys, and the growth of the modern University of Tehran.
Through her letters to family, diaries and mission reports we have an insight into a country which has undergone tremendous cultural, social and political change. Adelaide’s personal observations open a window to a bygone era brought to life through her engaging and timeless writings.
Dr Bill Larkworthy FRCP, Author wrote:
What a historical gem! In a manner rendered moot by today’s texts and Tweets, Dr Adelaide Kibbe’s carefully written and preserved letters open our eyes to another time and place in history. And yet she tells a modern story too, for it is ultimately a human one – of what one life can accomplish and achieve when lived for something more than self. A great read!
Rachel Jones wrote:
Margaret Frame, historian daughter of an American woman doctor missionary, brilliantly recounts her mother’s life in Persia before it became the Ayatollahs’ Iran. No antibiotics, rudimentary surgical facilities, often understaffed, Dr Adelaide Kibbe heroically dealt with everything fate threw at her – it’s high time the world enjoyed her heart-warming story.
This book is a feast for the senses and reveals a rich, complex picture of pre-revolutionary Iran. Dr Adelaide Kibbe’s observations reveal a keen eye for the beauty of the country and respect for its people.