Description of two documents on the history of the Paris Talks
First published on the Irfan e-mail list.
- First document
- A letter from Dr Barafroukhteh to the French National Spiritual Assembly, dated 16 September 1962. It recalls the contents of a telephonic conversation he had had with Laura Dreyfus-Barney about a preface to Paris Talks, in which it was said that Lady Blomfield and her daughters had taken notes of the conference which had been translated in English, and that ‘Abdu’l-Baha had read and approved those notes.
Laura Dreyfus-Barney remarks that:
- Lady Blomfield and her daughters took no note. She (Laura Dreyfus-Barney) was present, and her husband (Hippolyte Dreyfus-Barney) translated directly in French.
- It was a lady-secretary of Lady Blomfield’s daughters (a non-baha’i) who took notes in steno. Those notes were the ones translated later in English.
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha did not see the English text, but he read the Persian text established by Zarqani and Varqa, who accompanied him during his journey. After studying the Persian text, he authorized its impression, but did not concern himself with the English text’s impression.
- The book can’t be given the title Paris Talks, but Paris Talks’extracts.
- Second document
A note in English in Laura Dreyfus-Barney’s hand, fastened to another letter from Dr Barafroukhteh to the French National Spiritual Assembly, dated 12 October 1962. The note said:
Lady Blomfield & daughters always asked my husband and me to correct the notes taken, and come to Vevey [in Switzerland] as we were spending the summer on Mt. Pelerin in his parents home [called by Hippolyte Dreyfus Daru’s-Salam].
- The letter states that Mrs. Barney didn’t find the time to correct Lady Blomfield’s notes, and that the names of Hippolyte and Laura Dreyfus-Barney, which figured in the proofs, have been suppressed when the book was printed.