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The Road to Oxiana.
London, Macmillan, 1937. 8vo. Original blue cloth, spine lettered in gilt; pp. x, 341, [2, advertisements]; photographic frontispiece and 15 photographic plates after Byron, 5 full-page sketch maps; binding a bit faded, mainly to spine; internally near fine. First edition, getting rather scarce. Byron's account of his search for the origins of Islamic architecture has become a classic of modern travel literature. Written in the form of diary jottings, it records his journey from Venice through the Middle East and Afghanistan to India; as the publisher's blurb states, "Oxiana, in this context, means Afghan Turkestan, the rich pastoral plain which separates the Oxus from the Hindu Kush and meets Badakshan on the east". The Road to Oxiana "may be described as an enquiry into the origins of Islamic art presented in the form of one of the most entertaining travel books of modern times. [Byron] wrote it in China during 1935 and 1936 after making the overland journey to the Far East through Russia. [It] was reprinted in 1981 with an introduction by Bruce Chatwin. Chatwin considered it 'a work of genius' which he personally elevated 'to the status of "sacred text"' (Chatwin, ix). But it was also an important book. In between the 'bravura passages' (ibid., xvi) Byron was expounding a serious thesis about the significance of Afghan influence on Persian civilization" (ODNB). When World War II broke out, Byron was employed as a sub-editor with the BBC, before his appointment as a special war correspondent; he was killed while travelling to Cairo to take up this position when his ship was struck by a torpedo. Yakushi B657a.
      [Bookseller: Henry Sotheran Ltd.]
Last Found On: 2017-10-08           Check availability:      Direct From Seller    

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