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A Ride to Khiva
 
 

A Ride to Khiva [Kindle Edition]

Frederick Burnaby , Peter Hopkirk
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £20.00
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Product Description

Product Description

In the winter of 1875, a young British officer set out across central Asia on an 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 travelers by the Russians following their seizure of it two years earlier. His aim was to discover whether, as many British strategists feared, this remote and dangerous oasis was about to be used as a springboard for an invasion of India. Captain Frederick Burnaby was already something of a legend. For a start he was reputed to be the strongest man in the British Army, standing six-foot-four and weighting over 200 pounds. He also spoke no fewer than seven languages, including Russian and Turkish, and possessed a most vigorous and colorful prose style. Unknown to his superiors, who would have forbidden the venture, he rode for over a thousand miles across steppe and desert, struggling through blizzards and snowdrifts, to reach forbidden Khiva. Burnaby was ordered home by an alarmed government and there he immediately sat down and wrote this best-selling account of his adventures.

About the Author

Frederick Gustavus Burnaby was a soldier, traveller, writer, and pioneer balloonist. He was reputed to be the strongest man in the British Army, and spoke no fewer than seven languages. In 1875, on a one-man Great Game mission, he rode to Khiva in Central Asia, and the following year set out from Constantinople for eastern Turkey. In 1885 he was speared to death while campaigning in the Sudan, where he is buried somewhere in the desert.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 5524 KB
  • Print Length: 414 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (30 Nov 1875)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000QTD1B0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #190,946 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic 17 July 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I found a copy of this book in an old box of books belonging to my grandfather.
All the books in the box looked at least 100 years old.
I picked one at random to "leaf through" just out of casual interest.
After one paragraph I was hooked and my amazement and amusement increased with every chapter.
The book was "A Ride To Khiva" - what a find!
Until I researched more I had no idea this book was such a recognised classic.
Not only classic adventure but also a Mr Burnaby is an extremely amiable companion - frequently amusing and occasionaly side-splittingly funny.
I came across this remarkable tale of adventure entirely by accident and am so glad I did - please take my advice and get stuck in as soon as possible!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Selene
Format:Paperback
Fred Burnaby's account of his epic trip by train, sleigh, camel and horseback to the ancient Silk Road city of Khiva in the winter of 1875 has become a classic, and deservedly so. Burnaby's trip was partly undertaken to check out the situation in Central Asia regarding Russia, Britain's great rival for power in the sub-continent in what is known as the Great Game. Russia had been gobbling up small states in the area, bringing its sphere of influence ever closer to British India. However the British authorities knew nothing of Burnaby's expedition and would have undoubtedly vetoed it if they'd got wind of it. A Victorian master of dashing derring-do, Burnaby was a loyal and distinguished soldier, but a maverick in the tradition of the great English eccentric. The Russians had recently occupied and forbidden foreigners entrance to Khiva, therefore Burnaby had an irresistible desire to go there. Although his trip was ostensibly a fact-finding mission, I suspect it was much more in the nature of a lark and patriotic nose-thumbing gesture.

His vigorous colourful writing style had already attracted attention and he had written several newspaper articles. "A Ride to Khiva" is articulate, straightforward, and lacking in self-aggrandizement. Burnaby has a great eye for detail, ear for cadence of language and a nice sense of humour. You get a clear impression of someone who would have been a great companion, a man with a contagious zest for life.

Burnaby sometimes reflects the now politically incorrect prejudices and views of the British Empire at its height. The Russians might be devious, untrustworthy blighters, but at least they are white Europeans, by Jove. White European superiority is not in doubt.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A travel and adventure classic. 28 April 2003
By John Austin HALL OF FAME VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
A travel and adventure classic. South central Asia, the focus of the world’s attention in 2003, received an earlier share of it in the 1870s. For centuries travelers’ tales and the mention of such exotic names as Samarcand, Tashkent and Bokhara had aroused interest and fired imaginations. To all this was added rumor in 1875 that British interests in India were threatened by Russian expansionism. In particular, it was believed that Russian forces were massing in the recently occupied city of Khiva, nowadays in Uzbekistan, in preparation for an invasion of India.
A situation like this fitted perfectly the kind of “investigative reporting” adventures that Frederick Burnaby craved. In 1876, this 33-year-old captain in the British army took leave of absence, and set out for Khiva. The journey involved a ride of over one thousand miles in well below freezing conditions across steppes and wastelands.
On his return, Burnaby wrote “A Ride to Khiva” and it instantly became a best seller. A well-educated man, proficient in many languages, and a keen observer of all he encountered, his account still ranks as one of the great adventure classics of literature.
I am grateful to the neighbor who lent me this book, and can report that reading it has provided many hours of fascination. Burnaby died ten years after writing this book, supposedly during a massacre in the Sudan. Keen Internet browsers might find reference to a recent revelation that throws doubt upon the truth of the official account of his death.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A travel and adventure classic. 28 April 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
South central Asia, the focus of the world�s attention in 2003, received an earlier share of it in the 1870s. For centuries travelers� tales and the mention of such exotic names as Samarcand, Tashkent and Bokhara had aroused interest and fired imaginations. To all this was added rumor in 1875 that British interests in India were threatened by Russian expansionism. In particular, it was believed that Russian forces were massing in the recently occupied city of Khiva, nowadays in Uzbekistan, in preparation for an invasion of India.
A situation like this fitted perfectly the kind of �investigative reporting� adventures that Frederick Burnaby craved. In 1876, this 33-year-old captain in the British army took leave of absence, and set out for Khiva. The journey involved a ride of over one thousand miles in well below freezing conditions across steppes and wastelands.
On his return, Burnaby wrote �A Ride to Khiva� and it instantly became a best seller. A well-educated man, proficient in many languages, and a keen observer of all he encountered, his account still ranks as one of the great adventure classics of literature.
I am grateful to the neighbor who lent me this book, and can report that reading it has provided many hours of fascination. Burnaby died ten years after writing this book, supposedly during a massacre in the Sudan. Keen Internet browsers might find reference to a recent revelation that throws doubt upon the truth of the official account of his death.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Great Game" classic 22 April 2003
By Frank J. Konopka - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an exciting adventure book, writen in 1876 about the travels of a British Army Captain through Western Siberia into Khiva, a city in Central Asia recently taken by the Russian Empire. It purports to be just travel by an army man at liesure, and wanting to see parts of the world. Since we are in the "Great Game" era, when Britain and Russia were contending for the countries around India, I have the feeling that it was more than that, and that the author's mission was somewhat akin to "checking out the land" in the case of an impending conflict. Anyway, it's extremely well-written, and the descriptions of both the places and the people are first rate! The author obviously had a keen eye, and I would really love to read the report he actually submitted to his superiors in London when he returned. I'm sure it's still buried deeply in their secret files.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the Most Famous of Burnaby's real life adventure books- an adventure book for the ages! 31 May 2014
By Joe Guide - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Imagine a character/warrior that would put "Indiana Jones" to shame. Burnaby was such a fellow. Educated, well liked, having great connections and moved throughout the ranks and privileges of society at that period of time.

He was, at the time of his death- one of the greatest Adventurers of Great Britain. A man's man, and one who oddly enough once went into Battle in Egyptian Conflict- with a heavy Twelve Gauge Magnum Side by Side shot gun, and was "mentioned in dispatches" twice for clearing out a sniper's den, singlehandly.

I first read "A RIDE TO KHIVA" from a old 1920's copy that I carried into Afghanistan.

Most arm chair historians today might be amazed to know that as a young officer- (Winston Churchill) thought that COL Burnaby - {who was eventually killed outside the Abu Kleh wells in Sudan while fighting the Mahdi's forces} was to young Winston, perhaps the greatest Gentleman Warrior who lived in his lifetime.

Burnaby's eyewitness accounts, and his adventures are thrilling. His travels, wild women, close calls with all elements of danger, frozen wilderness, kind people he and his valet/batman meets along the way is simply smashing! Not to mention...killer Wolves, and spies, intrigue and such excitement along his grand journey that would scare any SAS or SEAL Team member today.

All readers of non-fiction should enjoy it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Ride to Khiva. 15 Jan 2013
By Ian Moat - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A Ride to Khiva was written in the 1800's and is now a little dated, but does give an interesting insight into the views and feelings of Englishmen and Russians in relation to the question of whether Russia would venture south to India. It does give an excellent understanding of how difficult it was to travel in the 1800's and the hardships that had to be endured when travelling long distances.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it 8 Dec 2008
By Sasaki Arunbagai - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
It's a first hand account of an adventure, in the days before aeroplanes.
I enjoyed it thoroughly. Specially since it gave us an insight into a part of Asia of which we do not have much information. Highly recommend it for a relaxing read with your feet up in front of the fireplace.
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