The talks between 'Abdu'l-Bahá and Laura Clifford Barney took place during the difficult years, 1904-1906, when He was confined to the city of 'Akká by the Turkish government and permitted to receive only a few visitors. At the time He was under constant threat of removal to a distant desert confinement.
As interlouctor, Miss Barney arranged for one of 'Abdu'l-Bahás sons-in-law, or for one of the three distinguished Persians of His secretariat of that period, to be present during the talks to insure accuracy in recording His replies to the questions asked him. 'Abdu'l-Bahá later read the transcriptions, sometimes changing a word or a line with His reed pen. They were later translated into English by Miss Barney. The original Persian texts are today a part of the Bahá'í archives of Haifa. For additional commentary on this work, refer to Shoghi Effendi's statements in God Passes By, pages 107, 260, 268, 305 and 383.