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Clouds in the East. Travels and Adventures on the Perso-Turkoman Frontier

Nature volume 13, page 484 | Download Citation



THE author of this interesting volume had special facilities for visiting the Russian outposts in Asia and the Persian frontier; he had powerful recommendations to the highest Russian and Persian authorities. By various causes, however, he was prevented from taking complete advantage of these, so that the main part of his work describes his journeys in the district to the south of the Caspian, and from Teheran towards the north-east Persian frontier. He reached the Caspian by Trebizond and Tiflis, and gives some interesting particulars as to navigation on the inland sea. He was able to visit the mouth of the much-talked-of Attrek, and found that the Gurgan, to the south of the Attrek, is the real Russian frontier in this region. He was unfortunately prevented from visiting Merv and Herat, which he had intended to do, Mr. Baker's main objects were sport and to ascertain the real nature of the advances made by Russia in Central Asia. Of the former he got a fair amount around Teheran, and his work will be of very considerable importance to those who are interested in the movements of Russia. He took considerable pains to ascertain Persian feeling on the question; Persia cannot understand, or rather misunderstands, England's inaction. Mr. Baker gives many valuable notes as to the nature of the country passed over, its productions, antiquities, and inhabitants. Concerning the Turkomans especially, and their wonderful houses, many details will be found. Altogether the work is an intelligent and interesting narrative of travel in an important region, and a substantial contribution to the Asian question. There are three good maps, but the chromolithographs are very poor specimens of their kind.

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