CENTRAL ASIA: THROUGH WRITERS’ EYES
€ 12.80 excl VAT
Including texts by Fitzroy Macclean, Marco Polo, George Curzon, Aurel Stein, Catherine Macartney and Alexander Burnes.
Between these covers, the millennia of mercantile and cultural exchange along the Silk Route are celebrated by travellers and writers from Marco Polo to Sven Hedin, from William of Rubrick to Ella Maillart. Kathleen Hopkirk has spent a lifetime researching this vital heartland, traversed by five, inhospitable deserts but united by ancient chains of trading oases: from the Buddhist Empire of Kushan, to the scholarly Islamic centre at Bukhara. This mysterious homeland of Tartars, Turks, Mongols, Uzbeks, Uighurs, Tajiks, Scythians and Sarmatians gave the world terrifying conquerors of the stature of Gengiz Khan and Tamberlane. Later it became the centre of rivalry for influence in the area between the empires of Russia and Britain played out by spies, ambassadors,agents and travel writers for 150 years, itself a continuation of the old cultural rivalry between Persia and China for the soul of this vast region.
Central Asia: through writers’ eyes
Format: 320pp demi pb
Thirty-three years ago, John Hatt set up as a publisher creating ELAND BOOKS, a company born at south London. John Hatt’s Eland was the first of a wave of travel lists that emerged in the early 1980s, quickly joined by Century Travellers, the Penguin Classic Travel Library, Picador and Virago. You wouldn’t have wanted to put any money on it, but only the Eland list has endured. Nowadays, E-editions enable our books to be read in parts of the world where bookshops do not exist, but otherwise Eland continues, very much as it first started, with between two and eight new titles a year, and run from an attic. It is a classic tale of the Hare and the Tortoise, or should one say the Leopard and the Eland. For one of the defining characteristics of the Eland is that it is no good at high speeds but ‘can trot along at fourteen miles an hour indefinitely.’
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