Frederick Burnaby (1842 85) joined the Royal Horse Guards in 1859,
but, when not assigned to active duty, he crafted his own
adventures. He ballooned across the English Channel, and travelled
in Spain, Asia Minor and Russia. He was wounded, and eventually
killed, fighting for the British Empire. His book, A Ride to Khiva
(1876) gave a personal account of his hazardous mission into
Russian territory during the 'Great Game' when the British and
Russian Empires were vying for power in central Asia. It was an
instant bestseller, and brought him overnight fame. This two-volume
work, published in 1877, recounts his next adventure: a
two-thousand mile journey through Asia Minor to assess Turkey's
chances in the impending war with Russia. On the way, he creates
vivid snapshots of the region and the people he encounters. Volume
2 covers the journey from Armenia to the Black Sea and includes
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