Rumi has become one of the best-selling poets in North America. Practically every biography highlights his encounter with Shams-i Tabrizi, the wandering mystic who became his beloved companion. Rumi had been a sober scholar, teaching law and theology to a small circle of students, but Shams turned him into a devotee of music, dance, and poetry. Then, after three years, he vanished, never to be seen again. It was Rumi's longing for the lost Shams that made him one of the world's greatest poets, celebrating him as the embodiment of the divine beloved. This book makes available for the first time in any European language first-hand accounts of Shams that have never been studied by Western scholars. When Rumi and Shams talked, members of the circle took notes, which were preserved and sometimes copied by later generations, ending up in various libraries scattered around Turkey; this book arranges them in a manner that clarifies their meaning and context, with notes and a glossary.--From publisher description.