The great Russian explorer Nikolay Przhevalsky (1839-1888) made an
indelible contribution to the world's atlases, and its store of
zoological and botanical knowledge, as a consequence of his four
arduous and dangerous expeditions through the Central Asia of
Western Mongolia, Eastern Turkestan and Northern Tibet. Donald
Rayfield's biography of Przhevalsky - first published in 1976 and
drawing on the exporer's diaries, letters, and published works -
tells the thrilling story of the explorer's groundbreaking
journeys, undertaken in an age of extreme political sensitivity
between Russia, China and Britain. A rich portrait emerges of an
extraordinary Byronic character who was ill-suited to civilisation
but much at home with the loneliness and hardship of the nomadic
life. A rigorous army officer and a phenomenal shot, gifted also
with a photographic memory, Przhevalsky became one of the most
widely-admired men in Russia, and Rayfield adroitly explores the
grounds of his reputation.
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