A Ride to Khiva: Travels and Adventures in Central Asia
, Apr 1, 2007
- 332 pages
In the winter of 1875, a young British officer set out across Central Asia on a strictly 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 travellers 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. Unknown to his superiors, who would have forbidden the venture, Captain Frederick Gustavus Burnaby rode for over a thousand miles across steppe and desert, struggling through blizzards and snowdrifts, to reach forbidden Khiva. Ordered home by an alarmed government, Burnaby immediately sat down and wrote this best-selling account of his adventures, which was to become a Great Game classic, the first of two he was to publish.