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Alexandria

The Quest for the Lost City

Edmund Richardson

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Bloomsbury
01 June 2021
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For centuries the city of Alexandria Beneath the Mountains was a meeting point of East and West. Then it vanished. In 1833 it was discovered in Afghanistan by the unlikeliest person imaginable: Charles Masson, deserter, traveller, pilgrim, doctor, archaeologist, spy, and eventually one of the most respected scholars in Asia, and the greatest of nineteenth-century travellers.

On the way into one of history's most extraordinary stories, he would take tea with kings, travel with holy men and become the master of a hundred disguises; he would see things no westerner had glimpsed before and few have glimpsed since. He would spy for the East India Company and be suspected of spying for Russia at the same time, for this was the era of the Great Game, when imperial powers confronted each other in these staggeringly beautiful lands. Masson discovered tens of thousands of pieces of Afghan history, including the 2,000 year old Bimaran golden casket, which has upon it the earliest known face of the Buddha. He would be offered his own kingdom; he would change the world, and the world would destroy him.

This is a wild journey through nineteenth-century India and Afghanistan, with impeccably researched storytelling that shows us a world of espionage and dreamers, ne'er-do-wells and opportunists, extreme violence both personal and military, and boundless hope. At the edge of empire, amid the deserts and the mountains, it is the story of an obsession passed down the centuries.
By:   Edmund Richardson
Imprint:   Bloomsbury
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm, 
Weight:   580g
ISBN:   9781526603814
ISBN 10:   1526603810
Pages:   352
Publication Date:   01 June 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Edmund Richardson is Associate Professor of Classics at Durham University. Before coming to Durham, he studied for his Ph.D. in Classics at Cambridge, then crossed the Atlantic for a postdoctoral fellowship at Princeton. In 2016, he was named one of the BBC/AHRC New Generation Thinkers. Richardson is fascinated by characters on the edge of most histories. He tells tales that seem a little too strange to be true. But in their truth, they change the way you see the world.

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