For ADHRB Weekly Newsletter 441 click here.
For ADHRB Newsletter 441, click here.
|It is with a heavy heart that Iran Heritage Foundation announces the passing of its dear friend and long-time supporter Iradj Bagherzade on 8th January 2023 in London.
Iradj was born in 1942 in Vienna, Austria. From a young age he went to boarding school in the UK and later studied at Oxford, where he received his degree in law, which he never practised, opting to start his career with Time-Life. His years with Time-Life took him to New York, Amsterdam, and London. With the company’s entry into the Iranian market in mid-1970s, Iradj was the obvious choice to head the publishing house’s new venture in Tehran, where he also met his future wife, Shahnaz. With the onset of the revolution in 1978, and the difficulties of running an Iranian-American publishing organization, Iradj and Shahnaz left Iran in 1980. In 1981 they married and settled in London.
Iradj had a life-long dream of establishing a publishing enterprise which would make serious academic subjects accessible to a larger audience. And so was born I.B. Tauris in 1983, the publishing house that started from a single-room office at 3 Henrietta Street. Iradj liked to recount that in the Hitchcock film Frenzy, it was here that Barry Foster had strangled Anna Massey, on the exact spot where he had his desk. Perhaps that is why Film Studies and World Cinema was one of the niches colonised by his publishing house. The company soon grew into a major academic publishing house, which he described as “a university press without a university”. Its most extensive area of publishing was the world of international politics and history, and it soon became a leader on the Middle East and the Islamic world. With a backlist of some 4,200 titles, when it was sold to Bloomsbury in 2018, Iradj’s publishing house was at the forefront of disseminating knowledge to the wider world.
“Iradj was both a pillar and an ornament of the Iranian community in Britain and also far beyond these shores. His lasting monument to Iranian studies will be the many hundreds of books he published under the I.B.Tauris imprint. Cumulatively, they bear silent witness to the breadth and depth of his cultural sympathies, so lightly worn. His vision, his indefatigable energy, his dry humour and his endlessly engaging personality will be sorely missed”. Robert Hillenbrand, Emeritus Professor of Islamic Art, Universities of St. Andrews & Edinburgh
“Iradj Bagherzade had a hugely positive influence on my work during the three decades I knew him. With the books I published with I.B.Tauris, Iradj was always supportive, encouraging, and helpful with perceptive suggestions. At our last meeting, at a conference on Afghanistan in Cambridge last September, he was as encouraging as ever when I told him of my latest project. He will be sorely missed by a very large number of friends and professional associates”. Richard Tapper, Emeritus Professor, School of Oriental and African Studies
“Iradj was an extraordinary Iranian. I knew him as a very close friend for almost half a century. Our friendship started in Tehran and flourished even more in London when I.B. Tauris Publishers, founded by him in the early 1980s, became the chief channel for the publications of the Institute of Ismaili Studies, which I led until 8th January 2023, oddly the same time that Iradj so unforeseeably embarked on his eternal journey. I was always amazed by his depth of knowledge on so many subjects, as I was by his high standards of professionalism as a major publisher in the fields of Islamic and Iranian studies. I shall never forget our weekly walks in Regents Park during the recent pandemic years, when we exchanged our knowledge on English and Persian histories. The Iranian community in London has lost a distinguished member. I shall sorely miss him for the rest of my own days”. Farhad Daftary, Director Emeritus, Institute of Ismaili Studies
Iran Heritage Foundation extends its heartfelt condolences to the Bagherzade family, especially Iradj’s wife Shahnaz, his children Tara and Nezam, as well as his extended family and friends throughout the world.