BOULGER, Demetrius Charles.
The Life of Yakoob Beg;
Athalik Ghazi, and Badaulet, Ameer of Kashgar.
First edition of this uncommon life of this “remarkable Muslim adventurer” (Hopkirk, The Great Game, p322) from Piskent, Kokand – now Uzbekistan – who became ruler of Kashgaria. He signed treaties of amity and commerce with both Russia and Britain, but crucially failed to get them to support him against the Chinese. He died in 1877, after his army had been routed by the Emperor’s invasion force – “whose leisurely progress included the planting and harvesting of its own crops”, taking three years to reach Kashgar – most likely the victim of a poison plot; “Four of Yakoob’s sons and two of his grandsons fell into the hands of the Chinese. One son was beheaded, one grandson died, and the rest were sentenced to be castrated and sent as slaves to the soldiers on the Amoor” (Giles, A Chinese Biographical Dictionary). The author was one of the founders, and first editor, of the Asiatic Quarterly Review, and a leading publicist of Empire and Asian affairs.
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Octavo. Original red cloth, rebacked with the original spine laid down, title gilt to spine, blind panelling to the boards, dun surface-paper endpapers. Folding coloured map frontispiece. A little rubbed at the extremities, perhaps a quarter of an inch lacking head and tail of the spine, hinges slightly cracked, light toning, overall a very good copy.