Foreign Devils on the Silk Road and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
£8.79
  • RRP: £10.99
  • You Save: £2.20 (20%)
FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10.
Only 7 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Foreign Devils on the Sil... has been added to your Basket
Trade in your item
Get a £0.98
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Foreign Devils on the Silk Road: The Search for the Lost Treasures of Central Asia Paperback – 27 Mar 2006


See all 10 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£8.79
£4.77 £5.17
£8.79 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Only 7 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • When you trade in £15 or more you’ll receive an additional £5 Amazon.co.uk Gift Card for the next time you spend £10 or more.

Frequently Bought Together

Foreign Devils on the Silk Road: The Search for the Lost Treasures of Central Asia + The Great Game: On Secret Service in High Asia + Trespassers on the Roof of the World: The Race for Lhasa
Price For All Three: £28.27

Buy the selected items together


Trade In this Item for up to £0.98
Trade in Foreign Devils on the Silk Road: The Search for the Lost Treasures of Central Asia for an Amazon Gift Card of up to £0.98, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray (27 Mar. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0719564484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0719564482
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.8 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 161,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

'Recounted with great skill . . . opens a window onto a fascinating world' (Financial Times)

'Highly readable and elegant' (Times Literary Supplement)

Book Description

'Difficult to put down . . . irresistible' Daily Telegraph


Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
First Sentence
In Central Asia's back of beyond, where China tests her nuclear weapons and keeps a wary eye on her Russian neighbours, lies a vast ocean of sand in which entire caravans have been known to vanish without trace. Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Gs-trentham VINE VOICE on 19 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Peter Hopkirk's books on central Asia have two virtues that are not often found together: they are learned, thoroughly researched works that wrap their scholarship in anecdote and conflict. Foreign Devils takes the author in the steps of a handful of sturdy explorers and antiquarians who, between about 1890 and 1940, ventured into the Taklamakan, Lop Nor and Gobi deserts in search of evidence of the civilisations which once flourished there and are now buried beneath the sand.

Literally thousands of artefacts were discovered by these intrepid individuals and mostly removed to museums in the west, notably but not exclusively to London, St Petersburg and Berlin. The stories of the extreme hardships that accompanied these expeditions are gripping, often awe-inducing. But Hopkirk doesn't neglect the moral issues: the vast majority of the items removed belong - spiritually at least - to China. The question is: had China been left to its own devices would these items have been recovered for the pleasure and education of later generations, or were the explorers saving them from degenerating to dust, never to be seen? In short, were the Foreign Devils saviours or criminals? Even if the reader comes down, as Hopkirk seems to himself, on the side of the former, there remain other serious issues; the British Museum, which displays a mere fragment of its huge collection, comes in for particular opprobrium.

This is more than just a vicarious adventure story; with the romance of the Silk Road that drew Marco Polo and so many questing travellers at an end, the reader will be left with much food for thought.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Mark Eadie on 7 May 2003
Format: Paperback
After reading each spell-binding chapter, I find I am noting down the name and details of the original works quoted by Hopkirk. First, Hedin's "Through Asia", then Stein's "Ruins of Desert Cathay", then von Le Coq's "Buried Treasures of Chinese Turkestan". These are not cheap books! My bank manager mutters about Mr Hopkirk's negligence in writing such a compellingly addictive book.
"Foreign Devils on the Silk Road" tells the stories of European explorers who searched for - and found - legendary lost cities in the sands of the Taklamakan Desert in what is now Xinjiang province in western China. Most of the treasures were removed and sent to museums in Europe, the US, Japan and Korea, and these explorers are increasingly seen as criminals (at least in China). Regardless of the politics or the benefit of hindsight, the adventures of these men makes Indiana Jones look tame.
My only complaint is that the need to cover the expeditions of all the main explorers means that each is told in a mere chapter. It just whets the appetite to know more. Hence the seemingly endless purchases of the original books.
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John P. Jones III TOP 500 REVIEWER on 16 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback
... it all depends on your perspective. I first read Peter Hopkirk's The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia, which describes the collision of the British and Russian empires in Central Asia towards the end of the 19th century. The author focused on the efforts, dedication and yes, fool-heartiness of a coterie of adventurous men on both sides who believed it was their mission to "win" the area for their respective empires. "Foreign Devils on the Silk Road" was written a decade earlier; the region was similar: Central Asia, but the focus was a bit further east, in what was once called Chinese Turkmenistan, the Chinese "wild west." As Hopkirk says in his prologue, the book is primarily about six men, all, to one degree or another, adventurous, seeking fame, glory, wealth in varying proportions. The six were from six different countries: Sweden, Britain, Germany, France, United States and Japan.

The book commences with an excellent chapter on the "Silk Road" that once spanned Asia, from Sian, in China, all the way to Rome. Of course, there was more than one road through Central Asia. Legendary cities like Samarkand and Bokara were on it, as well as Balkh, in present day Afghanistan. The road went through Palmyra, in present day Syria, ending the overland portion at the Mediterranean ports of Antioch or Tyre. At the time it was utilized, it was not known by that name; rather it was a term coined in the 19th Century by the German scholar, Baron Ferdinand von Richthofen. The cities along the Silk Road, as well as China itself, achieved the apogee of glory and prosperity after Rome fell, during the Tang Dynasty (618-907).
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Argyraspid on 27 Feb. 2013
Format: Paperback
I have been fascinated by the cities along the Silk Road following a recent exhibition held in Brussels about the Chinese part and further to my trip through Uzbekistan where I inevitably winded up on its traces. Yet I didn't have an overall picture, especially since we generally talk about "The" Silk Road while in reality there are many - although all are intertwined to reach east or west one way or another.

"Foreign Devils on the Silk Road" is subtitled "The Search for the Lost Treasures of Central Asia" - how appropriate! In his book, Peter Hopkirk, collects and summarizes the handful of expeditions made over less than thirty years. Basically Central Asia was shared by Tsarist Russia and the British Empire because of their presence in India.

The very first westerner to set out in the inhospitable Desert of Taklamakan was the Swede Sven Hedin, a scientific explorer, fluent in seven languages who visited the area in 1895 and in1899. Although he was neither a historian nor an archeologist, but a trained geographer and cartographer, his meticulous studies turned out to be very useful for the brave explorers who followed.

Next arrived Aurel Stein, a Hungarian born orientalist who became British citizen. He hit a soft spot in my heart because he was fascinated by the campaigns and travels of Alexander the Great, spending much of his early years retracing Alexander's routes and battlefields, and eventually his legacy in Central Asia. Stein started his fruitful and daring explorations of the Taklamakan Desert in 1900. One his most exciting finds in my eyes is for instance the wooden tablets with clay seals with figures of Pallas Athena and other Greek deities, but this is only the tip of the iceberg of his fertile harvest, of course.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback