INTRODUCED BY CAROLINE EDEN, award-winning author of Black Sea, Red Sands and Samarkand
'Medieval pomp, splendour, and picturesqueness... a life that one can hardly even realize.'
In 1912, Ella R. Christie - a veteran Scottish traveller who had made expeditions to Kashmir, Tibet, Malaya, Borneo, China, Korea and Japan - steamed across the Caspian Sea to explore Central Asia. Her travels through the Russian Empire took her to the Silk Road cities of Tashkent and Samarkand, and she became the first British woman to visit the Khanate of Khiva.
Eschewing the cloak and dagger intrigues of a previous generation of Great Game spies, Christie was a meticulous observer of the everyday - whether meeting khans, dining with generals or vividly chronicling market life - shortly before war and revolution swept that world away.