Women's Worlds in Qajar Iran

Women's Worlds in Qajar Iran

Fakhr al-Dawlah

b. 1861 or 1862 Tehran
d. 1893

Fakhr al-Dawlah, the seventh daughter of Nasir al-din Shah, was born in 1861 or 1862. Her mother, Khazin al-Dawlah, was one of the shah's mut'a wives. When Fakhr al-Dawlah was one year old, her sister, Furugh al-Dawlah, was born. Their mother passed away in 1877 or 1878, when Fakhr al-Dawlah was 16. The shah entrusted the education of the two sisters to Khujastah Khanum Taj al-Dawlah, one of his other wives. On November 2, 1882, Fakhr al-Dawlah married Mahdi Quli Khan Majd al-Dawlah. Fakhr al-Dawlah was a poet and her pen names were "Bi-Nishan" and "Fakhri." She handwrote and calligraphed a collection of her poems, which was never published. In 1891 or 1892, she was diagnosed with tuberculosis. On April 1, 1893, Fakhr al-Dawlah died at 33 and was buried in Qum at the shrine of Hazrat-i Maʻsumah. In various sources, the two sisters are called Turan Aqa (Agha) and Tuman Aqa (Agha) differently. It is not clear in their own time which name referred to which sister. For instance, in Khatirat-i Iʻtimad al-Saltanah [Iʻtimad al-Saltanah's Diaries] p. 865 Fakhr al-Dawlah is called Tuman Aqa, in Khatirat-i ʻAyn al-Saltanah [ʻAyn al-Saltanah's Diaries] (volume 9, p. 7133) Turan Aqa refers to Fakhr al-Dawlah.

Fakhr al-Dawlah, the seventh daughter of Nasir al-din Shah, was born in 1861 or 1862. Her mother, Khazin al-Dawlah, was one of the shah's temporary wives. When Fakhr al-Dawlah was one year old, her sister, Furugh al-Dawlah, was born. Their mother passed away in 1877 or 1878, when Fakhr al-Dawlah was 16. The shah appointed Khujastah Khanum Taj al-Dawlah, one of his wives, as the guardian of the two sisters. Fakhr al-Dawlah enjoyed painting, art, and reading. On the nights when Mirza Muhammad ʻAli Khan Naqib al-Mamalik, the story teller for the shah, narrated a story along with musicians in one of the three rooms that opened to the Shah's bedroom, Fakhr al-Dawlah would sit in the room next door and write what she heard. The result was published as the well known tale of Amir Arsalan and Zarrin Malik. On November 2, 1882, Fakhr al-Dawlah married Mahdi Quli Khan Majd al-Dawlah; the wedding ceremony was held on March 28, 1883. After her marriage, she still spent most of her time in the harem, writig Amir Arsalan's tale, peeling fruit for his father, and sometimes dining with the shah, permission for which was granted to only Anis al-Dawlah and Fakhr al-Dawlah. Fakhr al-Dawlah accompanied the shah on many of his journies, and was responsible for writing his memoirs and travelogues. In 1892 or 1893, the shah dismissed Majd al-Dawlah from his position as the head of the royal stable and replaced him with Muhammad Husayn Mirza, the previous head of the stable. Majd al-Dawlah was unemployed for one year and four months. On July 28, 1885, the Shah named special inspector. Fakhr al-Dawlah was a poet and her pen names were "Bi-Nishan" and "Fakhri." She handwrote and calligraphed a collection of her poems, which was never published. It has been said that she was a skillful hunter and demonstrated her skills to amuse the king. She had a friendly relationship with ‘Aziz al-Sultan (Malijak). On 1891 or 1892, she was diagnosed with tuberculosis, then an epidemic disease in Iran. Nasir al-Din Shah's French physician, Dr. Tholozan, was in charge of her treatment. They took her to places with nicer weather; Majd al-Dawlah rented a house in the north of Tehran for her to enjoy fresh air, but it did not help. The disease progressed. Nasir al-Din Shah used to visit her and it is said that he weeped heavily after one of these visits. On April 1, 1893, Tuman Agha died at 33 and was buried in Qum at the shrine of Hazrat-i Maʻsumah. In various sources, the two sisters are called Turan Aqa (Agha) and Tuman Aqa (Agha) differently. It is not clear in their own time which name referred to which sister. For instance, in Khatirat-i Iʻtimad al-Saltanah [Iʻtimad al-Saltanah's Diaries] p. 865 Fakhr al-Dawlah is called Tuman Aqa, in Khatirat-i ʻAyn al-Saltanah [ʻAyn al-Saltanah's Diaries] (volume 9, p. 7133) Turan Aqa refers to Fakhr al-Dawlah. Close

اعتمادالسلطنه، محمدحسن خان. الماثر و آلاثار. به کوشش: ایرج افشار. تهران: اساطیر، ۱۳۸۳. ص ۹۹. معیرالممالک، دوستعلی خان. رجال عصر ناصری. تهران: نشر تاریخ ایران، ۱۳۶۱.صص۶۱ و ۶۳ معیرالممالک، دوستعلی خان. یادداشتهایی از زندگی خصوصی ناصرالدین شاه. تهران، نشر تاریخ ایران، ۱۳۹۱، صص ۱۲۸، ۲۲، ۲۷، و ۵۰. اعتمادالسلطنه، محمد حسن خان. روزنامه خاطرات اعتمادالسلطنه، تهران : امیرکبیر، ۱۳۵۵. صص ۲۰۱، ۲۲۵، و ۲۹۳. بزرگ امید، ابوالحسن. از ماست که برماست. تهران: بی نا، ۱۳۵۵. ص ۵۳. روزنامه ایران . نمره ۷۹۷، بیست و پنجم رمضان ۱۳۱۰. ص ۳۲۰۷. Close

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