To Peking: A Forgotten Journey from Moscow to Manchuria

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Tauris Parke Paperbacks, Aug 30, 2009 - Travel - 200 pages
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When in 1934 at the age of twenty-seven, Peter Fleming set out for the Far East, his ultimate goal was to return from China to India overland - a journey he later described in the classic News from Tartary. On his outward journey Fleming travelled through regions which remain some of the most remote and least-visited in Asia and which, soon after his journey, became closed entirely to westerners. From Moscow, through the Caucasus to the Caspian, on to Samarkand and Tashkent, skirting the edge of Outer Mongolia to Vladivostok and winding his way down to Peking, Fleming tells of people encountered, places explored and of ways of life that have since been lost through revolution, war and the passage of time. Along the way he kept a diary that he never intended to publish and that lay forgotten 'in the box-room' of his mind for fifteen years. To Peking is an unassuming classic of travel literature. Subtle yet sparkling with intelligence and humour, simple yet beautifully told, it illuminates a world that travellers - armchair or otherwise - can only dream of today.

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User Review  - moncur_d - LibraryThing

Wonderful, witty, sardonic, record of a journey across the Soviet Union and Manchuria to Peking in the early 1930s. Very much a period piece in terms of the characters, but a vivid portrait, both of ... Read full review


Foreword by Simon Winchester
To Moscow
To the Caucasus
To Samarkand
To Vladivostok
To the Mongols
To Jehol
To Peking and Points South

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