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Item #: OP8135-953
AN ENGLISH LADY IN CHINESE TURKESTAN Lady Macartney 1985 Softcover Fine
By Lady Macartney
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Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1985. 236 pp. Used softcover. Fine.

The writer of this book is only the second Englishwoman to have been to Kashgar. To travel from Europe to that oasis-town of Central Asia is at all times and undertaking of great difficulty, necessitating a journey through the whole of Southern Russia and Russian Turkestan and arduous marching, on horseback and on foot, in order to cross the snow-clad passes of the Tien-shan mountains. It was not, however, with the object of exploring that Lady Macartney travelled. She had to make a home for her husband, who, as an officer in the Political Department of the Indian Government, was stationed at a corner of the Chinese Empire, which has unusual importance for Great Britain, as it is on the borders of the four Powers of India, Afghanistan, Russia and China.

During her seventeen years' stay at Kashgar, Lady Macartney was entirely cut off from her own folk. She found, however, plenty to interest her in the local Chinese and Russians, and above all in the native Kashgarians, some of them - those of the Iranian stock - being strangely like Europeans, and others decidedly Mongolian in type, with slanting eyes, high cheek-bones and beardless chins. She was in the Chinese Revolution, as it swept over Kashgar in May 1912 taking a toll of lives; and she tells vividly how during that storm high Chinese dignitaries fleeing for safety sought, and not in vain, the asylum of her own home, the British Consulate, though it was without the protection of a single soldier.

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