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Travels into Bokhara: A Voyage Up the Indus to Lahore and a Journey to Cabool, Tartary and Persia [Paperback]

Alexander Burnes , Kathleen Hopkirk
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 Feb 2012
Alexander Burnes travelled up the Indus to Lahore and to the Khanates of Afghanistan and Central Asia in the 1830s, spying on behalf of the British Government in what was to become known as the 'Great Game'. His account of these travels was a bestseller in its day and this brand new edition brings the heady sense of excitement, risk and zeal bursting from the pages.

Product details

  • Paperback: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Eland Publishing Ltd (5 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906011710
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906011710
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 13.7 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 332,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Burnes in his own words 18 July 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Burnes's journeys were truly groundbreaking and his account, whilst occasionally banal and self-serving in places, contains many extraordinary episodes. On the one hand an adventure story, the narrative also provides insight into the tribal and geopolitical complexities of this region which persist to this day. And Burnes himself emerges as a three dimensional character, clever and adventurous, ideally suited to the place and the time. One cannot help being ambivalent about his mission but, given the colonial era in which he lived, he seems an egalitarian figure and not given to racism. The book ends in 1831, ten years before Burnes's violent death in Kabul which is described vividly in the epilogue.

William Dalrymple has written the introduction and epilogue and the editor, Kathleen Hopkirk, seems to have done just enough to allow the story to flow whilst correcting Burnes's occasional lapses and filling gaps in his text. Anyone interested in the Great Game and the days of the East India Company will thoroughly enjoy Burnes's writing which makes a welcome return to print.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read this book because I am interested in Afghanistan and real characters that appear in the Flashman series of books. Alexander Burnes is an interesting figure, he has been described as a licentious person who was eventually murdered by annoyed husbands and fathers of his mistresses! It is also recorded that he was murdered because he was a British officer... believe what you will. There is very little in the book to suggest a licentious nature.
It is a book, written by him, about his very dangerous trip surveying the country north of India for Her Majesties Government. Very little was known about it in the UK. A previous British expedition had resulted in the deaths of all concerned. Many 'facts' were known only because of Alexander the Greats' expedition thousands of years before. It was truly wild and unknown country. He played an important part in what became known as 'The Great Game' where the British Empire became concerned about the intentions of the Russian Empire. Whatever his nature he had nerves of steel, his horrific death only adds to his legend!
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Afghanistan (or going to Afghanistan) and surrounding countries or anyone who likes to read about a great historical adventure. The original book was a best seller in the 19th Century, this is just a modern edition of it.
I would certainly love to re-trace the journey, but the journey would be no less hazardous now as then!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prelude to a sad end 9 Aug 2012
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Lots of information here for those interested in the history of Afghanistan and surrounding countries. Of course the style is very much of its time but this should be required reading for those who wish to understand the background to the current conflict.
It's sad to note that Burnes didn't understand the situation as well as he thought and he died in Kabul in the "first Afghan" war.
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4.0 out of 5 stars History of yesterday being played out today. 10 Aug 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It is strange how many familiar names of places are still in the news. The Great Game is still in play today. Which is why purchased this book, as a background to the problems and political manoeverings in Afghanistan. I love and deeply respect the oddball british gent who takes on the world with only his intellect to assist.
Good read, not a novel by any means.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Anna
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought as a gift for a friend interested in the history of this region. Full marks to this company, swift & organised despatch.
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