He was nicknamed Bokhara Burnes for his role in establishing contact with and exploring Bukhara , which made his name. Burnes was born in Montrose , Scotland, to the son of the local provost ,  who was first cousin to the poet Robert Burns. Transferred to Kutch in as assistant to the political agent, he took an interest in the history and geography of north-western India and the adjacent countries, which had not yet been thoroughly explored by the British, then he went to Afghanistan. Afghanistan, one of the most remote and impoverished kingdoms in the world, found itself sandwiched between the rival British and Russian empires.
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Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Travels into Bokhara by Alexander Burnes. Kathleen Hopkirk Editor. William Dalrymple Introduction. At the age of only twenty six, Alexander Burnes proved himself to be one of the most effective intelligence agents of his time. Making two dangerous journeys beyond the frontiers of the Indian Empire, he reported back via the East India Company to Downing Street on the geography and politics of the kingdoms that lay to the northwest as far as fabled Bokhara.
He travelled s At the age of only twenty six, Alexander Burnes proved himself to be one of the most effective intelligence agents of his time. He travelled simply, disguised as a local, but with his rapier-like mind, an ear for languages and an infectious charm and curiosity, he had a formidable arsenal of talents at his command.
In , the publication of Burnes's Travels into Bokhara made him a celebrity in London, where he lectured to packed halls and was even given an audience by the King. This edition brings the heady sense of excitement, risk and zeal bursting from the pages.
Get A Copy. Published May 14th by Eland first published More Details Original Title. Alexander Burnes. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Travels into Bokhara , please sign up.
Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. The book provided an insightful overview of 19th century British India and the Middle East, which was educational.
The latter was much more interesting, with lots of brushes w Accounts of a British spy employed by the East India Co, to travel through India and the Middle East. The latter was much more interesting, with lots of brushes with slave traders and lawless "Wild Wild West" type societies.
Overall, despite potentially exciting content, Burnes's narration is dull, flat, distant and removed, rendering this to be a tedious book, despite its exciting premise. It doesn't give you a full and heady sense of his experiences. It isn't immersive in the way one hopes a rip roaring account of adventure should be. It reads more like a stale thesis by a sociologist.
Enjoyable and insightful This is the travel log of an explorer, adventurer, diplomat and spy. Reading this book you become a companion of Burnes in his primitive mission, mapping a relatively unknown area of the world unknown even in modern time for many of us. Although in many cases the descriptions of the landscape can be tedious i. Thankful Enjoyable and insightful This is the travel log of an explorer, adventurer, diplomat and spy. Thankfully most of the time the descriptions are magnificent, and give a real insight to the lands he travelled, the people he encountered, and their customs and cultures, that also relevant in some extend today.
The reader has a lot also to gain by appreciating the ways he traveled in each region change of medium, clothes, habits and the ways he built his relationships with the different people. Explanatory notes on this edition were also helpful. Sep 09, W rated it liked it Shelves: history. British spies,two hundred years ago,were willing to travel anywhere,and everywhere,to expand the frontiers of their empire. Alexander Burnes' journey,brought him fame and a knighthood.
Eventually,however,he ventured forth into Afghanistan once more and paid with his life. For anyone who has worked or travelled in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan this is a gem.
An under-cover British agent on an intelligence gathering mission in thes, giving his first-hand account. A spectacular success with a very sorry end. Altogether fascinating! Nov 16, Jennifer rated it liked it Shelves: uzbekistan. Although the text is a little dry and plodding and slow for me to read, and although most of the author's travels were in countries that I have no immediate intention of visiting such as Afghanistan and Pakistan , it was still interesting and enjoyable to read an almost year old travelogue of getting to Bukhara and what is now modern Uzbekistan.
Burnes was an officer in the British Indian army and in made a trip from India, through the Punjab, into Afghanistan and up to Bukhara. Along the way he took note of roads, topology, climate etc.
Several years later, Barnes was killed by a mob in Afghanistan as part of the first war there. Anyway, this Burnes was an officer in the British Indian army and in made a trip from India, through the Punjab, into Afghanistan and up to Bukhara. Anyway, this is a most engaging read. He describes the landscape, rivers, cities, and people along the way. He observed that people in desert Bukhara always drink water with ice, which they warehouse from the harsh winter.
There is a lot of discussion of slave selling; Persian Shia and Russian infidels being the top sellers. Except for being held captive, the slaves he talks with say they are generally well treated, as long as they at least pretend to be Sunni Moslems. Barnes and his party spend a lot of time as guest of various potentates.
I loved this short book. Oct 12, Janet E. A twenty-six-year-old British adventurer, multi-lingual Alexander Burnes explored and spied for the British East India Company and, ultimate, the Crown. He was knighted by Queen Victoria for his clandestine services in those tempestuous times. Here is his detailed record of a trail-blazing journey across Afghanistan and beyond, which he later published as "Travels into Bokhara - A Voyage up the Indus to Lahore and a A twenty-six-year-old British adventurer, multi-lingual Alexander Burnes explored and spied for the British East India Company and, ultimate, the Crown.
Grab a copy. View 2 comments. May 24, Khalillaher added it. Finished the book by Alexander Burnes written in the s who was the first British spy to travel the full length of the Indus River detailing all the different types of people and mini kingdoms he comes across - Karachi to Bukhara onwards Travels into Bukhara Not very long but very good.
Most fascinating testimony to the voyages of British adventurer, employed by the East India Company and later on knighted by Queen Victor for his accounts and deeds, through parts of India, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan, a vivid account that I, for one, found impossible to put down! Nice edition with explanatory notes. Burnes was a humane man, far ahead of his time. Very readable, not overwrought Victorian prose. Clear and even funny. Sep 09, Emmapettitt rated it liked it.
Interesting and of its time. One to add to the collection. Oct 24, Tom Bevan rated it really liked it Shelves: classics , histories , afghanistan. One of Britain's most important missions of exploration and diplomacy, preceding a Catalogue of bad political decisions that cost her dear.
The prose of the time is floral and dynamic, but you get a true sense of the land and people as Alexander's mission travels through the north west frontier. Despite the differences the land has undergone in nearly two hundred years, it is highly poignant relevant to activities in the same region today. Markus rated it it was amazing Jun 07, Middlethought rated it it was amazing Aug 05, Erik rated it it was amazing Mar 26, DL rated it really liked it Feb 11, Chris S rated it really liked it Jun 08, Colter Freeman rated it it was amazing Oct 12, Shahid Parvez rated it it was amazing Dec 19, Ahmad Zubair Fattahi rated it it was amazing Dec 02,
Travels into Bokhara: A Voyage up the Indus to Lahore and a Journey to Cabool, Tartary & Persia
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book.
Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? Aged sixteen, Alexander Burnes took up a post in the Bombay army, and speedily learned both Hindustani and Persian. His skills led him to political work, and he himself proposed a covert expedition to Bukhara, to survey the country, but also to observe the expansionist activities of the Russians in central Asia. In , he set off, with an army doctor, and two Indians as surveyor and secretary.
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It is the most prominent of many travelogues of Afghanistan and Central Asia that relate experiences from the late s to late s, preceding the First Anglo-Afghan War Yet the sensation of his Travels led him to another, less successful appointment in Kabul and finally to his third and final appointment there, as British envoy during the war. His murder sparked the course of the British rout. Sir Alexander Burnes , in Bukharan dress. The Afghan rebellion against the British occupation of Kabul began with the murder of Sir Alexander Burnes, as well as of his brother and entourage, on the morning of 2 November The rebellion quickly turned the costly British victory of the first half of the Anglo-Afghan war into a much costlier defeat.