Shah Abbas (1571-1629) was shah of Iran from 1588 (when he assumed power by deposing his father, whom he later murdered) until his death in 1629. He is of critical importance in the history of Iran, restoring the power of the Safavids through war and the strategic negotiation of peace. He is still acclaimed for his strong and decisive rule and the architectural achievements of his reign although he is also recognised as a tyrant, whose paranoia (probably justified) caused him to imprison and assassinate many of his own relatives including his own son, ultimately leaving the throne to his grandson.Remarkably, this is the first biography of Shah Abbas in English. "On a Persian Throne" combines rigorous scholarship with a popular style to produce the definitive, accessible and objective biography of this seminal figure in Iranian history.
David Blow studied History at Cambridge and Persian at SOAS, was Assistant Director of the British Institute of Persian Studies in Tehran 1968-9 and worked for the BBC Persian Service 1969-71, broadcasting in Persian. He went on to work in publishing and for the BBC World Service, where he was correspondent in Berlin and Vienna. He is the Editor of 'Persia: Through Writer's Eyes', a collection of mainly European writings about Iran.