A Ride to Khiva. An ad­ven­ture in Cen­tral Asia

Timeless Travels Magazine - - THE NETHERLAND­S -

Fred Burn­aby Eland Pub­lished: July 2017 Price: £12.99

If you are fas­ci­nated with the Great Game in Cen­tral Asia in the 19th cen­tury, then you will love this book. It de­scribes the jour­ney of an English army Cap­tain who de­cided to travel to Khiva, which was closed to Euro­peans by the Rus­sians at this time, as it was a pos­si­ble spring­board for an in­va­sion of In­dia (which the Rus­sians were keen to ac­com­plish be­fore the Bri­tish).

Cap­tain Fred Burn­aby is six foot four, a bril­liant horse­man, a crack shot, strong as an ox, and speaks eight lan­guages. In the win­ter of 1875, braving frost­bite and snow­drifts and un­be­knownst to his army su­pe­ri­ors who would have for­bid­den it, he set out across Cen­tral Asia to in­ves­ti­gate the lat­est se­cret Rus­sian moves in the Great Game.

This is a won­der­ful ac­count of trav­el­ling at its hard­est - for miles through snow drifts with only lo­cal guides who knew the way - and they of­ten got lost too.

This is an old-school story of risk and ad­ven­ture. Sadly on ar­rival in Khiva, Burn­aby was im­me­di­ately or­dered home by an alarmed gov­ern­ment. But there is no doubt that the in­for­ma­tion he learned from his trav­els would have been of great use at the time.

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