In the long and often disastrous history of British entanglement in Afghanistan, the name of Alexander Burnes (1805-41) deserves to be remembered. Aged sixteen, he went to India to take up a post in the army, and speedily learned both Hindustani and Persian. His skills led him to political work, and he himself proposed a covert expedition to Bukhara, to survey the country and to observe the expansionist activities of the Russians in central Asia. (Burnes' 1834 account of this journey is also reissued in this series.) In 1836, he was sent to Kabul, and became involved in the British plan to replace Dost Muhammad Khan with Shah Shuja (which he personally thought a mistake). The British became a focus of increasing local discontent, and in November 1841 Burnes was murdered in Kabul by a mob. This account of his stay in the city was published posthumously in 1842.
Sir Alexander Burnes
Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication:
Series: Cambridge Library Collection - Travel and Exploration in Asia
06 November 2014
Professional and scholarly
Preface; 1. Objects of the mission; 2. Hunting excursion; 3. Sukkur; 4. Battle between the Afghans and Sikhs; 5. Our critical position; 6. Cross the Attock; 7. Interview with Dost Mahommed Khan; 8. Cabool; 9. The Sian-poosh kaffirs; 10. Our occupations at Cabool; 11. Russian agent, Lieutenant Vilkievitch; Appendices.