“Oxiana is a coinage of his, and it doesn’t geographically specifically exist. It was a way of saying Persia (as it was to him) and Afghanistan. Byron’s journey starts in Venice and ends in what is now Pakistan. He went there in 1933-34, not long before he died in World War II, drowned when his ship was torpedoed. Although the book is terrifically chauvinistic – he’s appalling when he writes about the local people, almost always without sympathy and sometimes with extreme colonial arrogance – it’s full of wonderful descriptions.”
The Best Travel Writing
Colin Thubron, Travel Writer
“Byron was Chatwin’s first conscious model. The book is a candid account of a journey made in 1933 in search of Seljuk tombs.”
Nicholas Shakespeare, Biographer
“One of the classic books about travelling in Afghanistan. It’s fun to travel with Byron and hear what he has to say, although he is quite a snob.”
Foreigners in Afghanistan
Sandy Gall, Foreign Correspondent
“He draws the parallel that what we have in Europe and what we care about and love so much you can find in the Islamic world also. It’s an important point.”
Travelling in the Muslim World
Tim Mackintosh-Smith, Travel Writer
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