Visits to High Tartary, Yarkand and Kashgar, written over a century ago, tells the story of a British tea-planter, Robert Shaw, who found himself caught up in the Great Game. So christened by one of its earliest players, the Great Game grew out of intense Anglo-Russian rivalry in Asia during the nineteenth century.
The shadowy contest began in earnest in the 1830s, when the two powers sought to extend their frontiers and influence into Central Asia. By the 1860s and 1870s, Britain and Russia found themselves all but facing each other across the unmapped deserts and unexplored passes of the region.
According to Shaw’s own account, it ‘was the prospect of ‘opening up’ Central Asia as a market for Indian tea, spiced with the possibility of being the first Englishman to visit the almost legendary towns of Chinese Turkistan, that decided him, in 1868, to make his now celebrated journey to Yarkand and Kashgar.
Publisher: VANGUARD BOOKS