Through Russian Central Asia.London : 1916 Stock Code: 140649
NotesFirst edition, first impression, presentation copy from the author, inscribed on the title page, "For Leslie Jones, Stephen Graham, 5 / xii / 71". Graham (1884-1975) was one of the most interesting travelers in and commentators on Russia: born in Edinburgh, the son of the journalist and author P. Anderson Graham, he left school at 14 to work as a clerk in London but "soon became fascinated by Russian literature. He subsequently resigned his post in order to travel through Russia, planning to earn his living as a journalist and writer. Graham went on a number of 'tramps' through Russia in the years before 1914, believing that the life of a vagabond would give him the freedom to observe the country and its people. He was from his arrival fascinated by the Russian Orthodox church, but he was even more struck by the spirituality of the people, which he believed was an instrumental force in shaping Russian society" (ODNB). Graham made his mark in London journalistic circles and in November 1913 was snapped-up by Lord Northcliffe to supply 26 articles for the Times, "all of them to be published over his name (the first time the paper had departed from its usual convention of anonymity)" (Michael Hughes, Beyond Holy Russia: The Life and Times of Stephen Graham, 2014, p. 83).
Graham's journey through Central Asia, on foot and by cart, took him from Krasnovodsk (Türkmenbaşy) on the Caspian through Bokhara, Samarkand, Tashkent and Zharkent. "Graham remained perhaps the pre-eminent British authority on the elusive intricacies of the Russian soul during the early years of the War" (ibid.). A colourful and compelling narrative by one of the period's leading Russophiles.
Octavo. Original moderate blue cloth, gilt-lettered spine with escutcheon of the Russian Empire, same to front cover in blind, lettering within a Slavic strapwork cartouche.
Photogravure frontispiece (with tissue guard), 36 half-tone plates, folding map of the author's route.
Spine dulled, light shelfwear to binding. A very good copy.
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