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Letters from a Distant Shore


The Journal of Sarah Ann Breath


In 1849, within days of her marriage to missionary printer Edward Breath, Sarah Ann Breath joined her husband to begin a four month journey to Oroomiah (modern Urumia), Persia. Her narrative, written in a highly descriptive flowing prose, describes the journey by sea, steamer and caravan to a Nestorian community. Breath’s journal pays careful attention to the Nestorian, Assyrian, and Kurdish communities she encountered. For Breath, the journey would transform her sensibilities, challenge her awareness of cultural differences and plunge her into a world whose dangers and opportunities she could never have imagined.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-59333-783-4
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Feb 13,2009
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 108
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-59333-783-4
$151.00
$90.60

In 1849, within days of her marriage to missionary printer Edward Breath, Sarah Ann Breath joined her husband on the Bark Ionia to begin a four month journey to Oroomiah (modern Urumia), Persia. Her narrative, written in a highly descriptive flowing prose, describes the journey by sea, steamer and caravan to a Nestorian community in northwest Persia where the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions had established a press and a school.

Breath’s journal describes the lengthy journey with careful attention to the Nestorian, Assyrian, and Kurdish communities she encountered. She records narrative images of Malta and Constantinople, describes the Sultan of Turkey on his way to morning prayers, and the difficulties of travel by mule over the mountains separating Turkey from Iran. For Breath, the trip was a consummate Asian journey that would transform her sensibilities, challenge her awareness of cultural differences and plunge her into a world whose dangers and opportunities she could never have imagined. In providing this previously unpublished account, Allen Richardson includes both annotations as well as an introductory chapter which includes a description of life in Oroomiah by Breath’s surviving daughter, Anna.


E. Allen Richardson is Professor of Religious Studies at Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He holds a Ph.D. in Oriental Studies from the University of Arizona and has written extensively in the area of American religious pluralism. Richardson is a research affiliate of the Pluralism Project at Harvard University.

In 1849, within days of her marriage to missionary printer Edward Breath, Sarah Ann Breath joined her husband on the Bark Ionia to begin a four month journey to Oroomiah (modern Urumia), Persia. Her narrative, written in a highly descriptive flowing prose, describes the journey by sea, steamer and caravan to a Nestorian community in northwest Persia where the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions had established a press and a school.

Breath’s journal describes the lengthy journey with careful attention to the Nestorian, Assyrian, and Kurdish communities she encountered. She records narrative images of Malta and Constantinople, describes the Sultan of Turkey on his way to morning prayers, and the difficulties of travel by mule over the mountains separating Turkey from Iran. For Breath, the trip was a consummate Asian journey that would transform her sensibilities, challenge her awareness of cultural differences and plunge her into a world whose dangers and opportunities she could never have imagined. In providing this previously unpublished account, Allen Richardson includes both annotations as well as an introductory chapter which includes a description of life in Oroomiah by Breath’s surviving daughter, Anna.


E. Allen Richardson is Professor of Religious Studies at Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He holds a Ph.D. in Oriental Studies from the University of Arizona and has written extensively in the area of American religious pluralism. Richardson is a research affiliate of the Pluralism Project at Harvard University.

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Contributor Biography

E. Richardson

E. Allen Richardson is Professor of Religious Studies at Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He holds a Ph.D. in Oriental Studies from the University of Arizona and has written extensively in the area of American religious pluralism. Richardson is a research affiliate of the Pluralism Project at Harvard University.