Morier’s work is rumored to have been based on the life and character of a prominent figure during the Qajar period, Abolhasan Khan Ilchi, who served as the Special Iranian Ambassador to England from about 1810 to 1813 and wrote Heyratnameh (The Book of Wonders), the accounts of his travels to England. --hajji.netfirms.com
merd Khan, the chief executioner, and subsequent chief of the hero, whose swaggering cowardice is so vividly depicted, was, in actual life, Feraj Ullah Khan. The commander of the King’s Camel Corps, who had to give up his house to the British Elchi, was Mohammed Khan. The Poet Laureate of the story, Asker Khan, shared the name of his sovereign, Fath Ali Khan; and the story of his mouth being filled on one occasion with gold coins, and stuffed on another with sugar-candy, as a mark of the royal approbation, is true. The serdar of Erivan, ‘an abandoned sensualist, but liberal and enterprising,’ was one Hassan Khan; and the romantic tale of the Armenians, Yûsûf and Mariam, down to the minutest details, such as the throwing of a hand-grenade into one of the subterranean dwellings of the Armenians, and the escape of the girl by leaping from a window of the serdar’s palace at Erivan, is a reproduction of incidents that actually occurred in the Russo-Persian war of that d
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