Laura Barney, God’s Heroes, was the second play about the Bab in the West, this time, in the English-speaking world. (to see the original, click HERE)
Laura Barney was the daughter of a prominent artist in Washington DC. She became a Baha’i in Paris where she studied and married the first French Baha’i, Hippolyte Dreyfus.
She used her wealth to finance the travels of Baha’i teachers and compiled a long set of answers given by ‘Abdu’l-Baha to questions later published as Some Answered Questions, one of the most important sources for the explication of Baha’i teachings.
Laura Barney wrote God's Heroes in Paris, 1909, a city that was attracting many artists, poets, and writers because they wanted to experiment with creative expression and, as one artist put it, “If I was going to starve, I might as well starve where the food was good….” They were breaking the molds of the past, it also advocated lifestyles free of conventional morality.
Barney wrote this play because she was concerned that a known actress would bring Tahirih to the stage, in a way that would not reflect the dignity of a saintly figure like Tahirih. If she wrote the play first, others would not attempt to write about it themselves.