Books by Robert Byron
“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.” Read more...
Colin Thubron, Travel Writer
Interviews where books by Robert Byron were recommended
The Best Travel Writing, recommended by Colin Thubron
The much-travelled author Colin Thubron reflects on more than 40 years of writing about other cultures, and shares his own favourite travel reading with us
Bruce Chatwin: Books that Influenced Him, recommended by Nicholas Shakespeare
With his books In Patagonia and The Songlines, Bruce Chatwin (1940-1989) reinvented travel literature. Nicholas Shakespeare, his biographer, lifts the lid on a complex life and selects five books that influenced Chatwin’s work.
The Best Books by Foreigners on Afghanistan, recommended by Sandy Gall
The veteran reporter and frequent visitor to Afghanistan tells us about the country he loves, and the Westerners (and Central Asian conqueror) who wrote engagingly about it.
Books about Travelling in the Muslim World, recommended by Tim Mackintosh-Smith
Author and Arabist Tim Mackintosh-Smith tells us about the rich tradition in Islam of travelling to gain knowledge, and directs us towards some of those, both Western and Arab, who’ve inspired with their tales of life on the road.