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A Ride to Khiva: Travels and Adventures in Central Asia [Paperback]

Frederick Burnaby
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £7.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

15 April 2007
First published in 1876, this is the story of soldier and adventurer Frederick Burnaby's fascinating and dangerous journey from the steppes of southern Russia to the city of Khiva in what is now Uzbekistan. Part travelogue and part daring exploits, Burnaby's entertaining account will appeal to armchair travelers, fans of adventure fiction, and anyone interested in firsthand accounts of the Great Game, when the Russian and British Empires vied for control of Central Asia. British soldier and writer FREDERICK BURNABY (1842-1885) was a member of the Royal Horse Guards, and in 1882, he became the first balloonist to cross the English Channel alone. Three years later, he died from a spear wound sustained in battle in the Sudan. He also wrote On Horseback Through Asia Minor (1878).

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A Ride to Khiva: Travels and Adventures in Central Asia + Mission to Tashkent + The Great Game: On Secret Service in High Asia
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Product details

  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Cosimo Classics (15 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602063966
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602063969
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 414,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

First published in 1876, this is the story of soldier and adventurer Frederick Burnaby's fascinating and dangerous journey from the steppes of southern Russia to the city of Khiva in what is now Uzbekistan. Part travelogue and part daring exploits, Burnaby's entertaining account will appeal to armchair travelers, fans of adventure fiction, and anyone interested in firsthand accounts of the Great Game, when the Russian and British Empires vied for control of Central Asia. British soldier and writer FREDERICK BURNABY (1842-1885) was a member of the Royal Horse Guards, and in 1882, he became the first balloonist to cross the English Channel alone. Three years later, he died from a spear wound sustained in battle in the Sudan. He also wrote On Horseback Through Asia Minor (1878).

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.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Classic of the "Great Game" era 15 Nov 1999
Format:Paperback
This is a reprint of a classic account of a dangerous journey undertaken in 1875, at a time when Russian expansionism in Central Asia was ringing alarm bells in India.
It was feared that the Russians were forging a route to the north-west frontier of Britain's jewel in the Imperial Crown, India, and that their ultimate goal was to wrest control of that great country from Britain. This was the 'Great Game' that Kipling made 'famous' and involved in this game are many tales of derring-do, adventure, tragedy and immense bravery.
One of these tales is this book which recounts a journey taken by a lone Britsih Army Captain, during his annual leave from St Petersburg, through the Central Russian States and down to the most recent Russian acquisitions of Central Asia.
Burnaby travelled the middle of winter and managed to get much further than it was originally thought he would. For anyone interested in this period this book is a must.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A travel and adventure classic. 15 May 2003
By John Austin HALL OF FAME VINE VOICE
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 rumour 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 neighbour 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: 3.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great book, terrible edition (General Books LLC 2009) 11 Jan 2010
By Jonathan Hopkins - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is an excellent story as related by other reviewers. However, I recommend against buying the General Books LLC (August 5, 2009) edition of Burnaby's classic. The production value is extremely low. There are numerous typos on each page which makes reading difficult to enjoy. This is also not a page-for-page reprint, so page breaks occur mid-page. This also makes reading this book much less enjoyable. Please do read Burnaby's "A Ride to Khiva", but to not waste your money on the General Books LLC edition.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Truth is stranger than fiction 13 Jan 2000
By James M. Hare - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Burnaby, a classic hero/adventurer type, was the 19th Century's Indiana Jones. His book, a popular sensation when first published in the mid 1800s, chronicles his exciting, dangerous, and sometimes humorous horseback and sleigh/carriage ride from southern Russia to Khiva, in what was then an independant khanate in Central Asia, in the middle of winter. If you like exciting, true adventure travel tales, you owe it to yourself to see this book. A standard by which all subsequent narratives should be measured
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic tale of true adventure 11 Aug 2003
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A Ride To Khiva: My Travels And Adventures In Central Asia 1875 is the personal memoir of soldier, traveler, writer, and pioneer balloonist Frederick Gustavus Burnaby, who died on January 17, 1885 at the age of 42 who was then a colonel in the British Army and speared to death in the Sudan along with 73 of his men. In 1875 Burnaby chose to personally investigate the rationale behind Russia's exclusion of foreigners in Central Asia. In the middle of winter Burnaby traveled by rail, carriage, sleigh, and horseback, while observing the people and their customs. A classic tale of true adventure, of struggling with language barriers, and of the determination to see one's task through, A Ride To Khiva is very highly recommended reading -- especially for enthusiasts of true adventure sagas.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascionating. 8 Dec 2012
By Carroll S. Collins - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A fascinating book to peruse. Interesting history......strange place to read about.....and on a horse,, yet....who knew that was possible at that time.
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Written with Good Obesercations 27 Dec 2007
By Tony - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a good read. It does not drag at all, and does capture subtle points of the central asian tribal culture that seem to run consistent with behavior to this date.
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