This chapter looks at the means and ways in which historical framing, narratives and ideology shape the way in which we research, analyse and explain Iranian politics and history. It looks at the way in which theory can be applied to both illuminate and complicate analysis and the importance of developing not only a linguistic but cultural fluency in the pursuit of rigorous interpretation and interrogation of texts. An appreciation of European history and methodology is an important prerequisite to sound research but we must also not be bound and restricted by theory not least narratives of ‘Orientalism’. But above all the ‘historian’s craft’ requires patience, empathy and an ability to appreciate the wider literary and historical context.