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A Ride to Khiva
In the winter of 1875, a young British officer set out across central Asia on a strictly unofficial mission to investigate the latest secret Russian moves in the Great Game. His goal was the mysterious caravan city of Khiva, closed to all European travellers by the Russians following their seizure of it two years earlier. His aim was to discover whether, as many British st ...more
Paperback, 390 pages
Published November 28th 2002 by Oxford University Press, USA
(first published November 30th 1875)
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Oct 29, 2014 Sylvester rated it 3 of 5 stars
"Fred G. Burnaby, the swashbuckling, six-foot-four-inches Household Cavalry officer, was an adventurer, traveller, eccentric and undoubted jingoist. He was reputedly the bravest man in England..." from the book lining.
More about him can be found at http://greatbritishnutters.blogspot.c... but don't read too much if you intend to read this book - spoilers galore!
(This was one of the books Dana read in "Two Years Before the Mast".)
Burnaby decides to use up his leave on a trip to Khiva, on a whim s ...more
"A Ride to Khiva" is as witty and fresh today as it was in 1877 when it was first published. Burnaby's account of a close shave with a Khivan barber unknowing of the ways of Western shaving methods is laugh-out-loud funny; his descriptions of his Turcoman and Kirghiz caravan drivers is both touching and troublesome. By powers of observation and analysis, Burnaby draws a direct link between smoking and heart disease: "The host taking up his pipe, slowly inhaled the fumes, until after about half a ...more
A great little travel book. An enjoyable journey that takes Burnaby from St Petersburg to Khiva. A great message about stereotyping and propaganda that is still relevant today. The Khivan prince turns out to be a nice guy. The style of his writing is a pleasure to read, and often made me smile. I especially liked the comment that the one of the men he met was "on the wrong side of 50." Love it.
Americans love to think of themselves as rugged individualists (as long as WE ALL are rugged individualists together), but, as this travel account proves, the Victorians have us beat hands-down. What spirit we've lost as more and more of us simply depend upon the computer, television, and our government to provide a semblance of life. Huzzah Burnaby!