Wilfred Thesiger, this century’s greatest living explorer, recalls his travels among the mountain ranges of Asia.
Although Wilfred Thesiger is still largely associated with the Arabian deserts and the Marshes of Iraq, he has also travelled extensively at intervals, over the years, among mountains and mountain people in other remote areas of the Middle East and Asia.
Each of these mountain journeys has a unique quality and importance of its own; the journeys around Asia, in particular, contribute significantly to Thesiger’s standing as a great traveller and explorer.
In 1987 Thesiger wrote: ‘I have always been attracted by mountains…’ And he observed more recently: ‘Had I done nothing else as a traveller except my journeys in Nuristan, these alone would have amounted to something worthwhile’.
Eventful, interesting and remarkable achievements in their own right, the Asian journeys – among the Hindu Kush, the Karakorams and the Pamirs – have inspired many of the finest photographs Thesiger has ever taken.
Spanning a period of over 30 years (1951-1983) this book draws on Thesiger’s original diaries of his various journeys and his vivid memories of them, and includes some 80 or so previously unpublished photographs of the stunning mountain scenery he saw and the people he encountered.
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Praise for The Danakil Diary:
‘…a revelation. The diaries get us as close as we can now come to the camp fire around which Thesiger told his best stories’
Anthony Sattin, Sunday Times
Praise for Life of My Choice:
‘One of the most engrossing life stories I have ever read’
Richard Holmes, The Times
Wilfred Thesiger is a legendary figure. The last of the great British explorers, he is mainly associated with the Arabian deserts and the Marshes of Iraq. However, he has also travelled extensively among the mountains and mountain peoples of the Middle East and Asia.
On first sight of the snow-capped ranges in Iraqi Kurdistan, Thesiger wrote, ‘I felt an uplift of the spirit. Never had I seen such country.’ The months spent there in 1950-51 were a prelude to later journeys, where he fulfilled his dream of travelling in the awesome mountain ranges of the Karakorams, the Hindu Kush and in Ladakh.
Among the towering snow peaks and glaciers of Chitral, the people of the Black Kafir valleys still worshipped pagan gods. Here, as in Nuristan – a wild, untravelled mountainous country, peopled by handsome, volatile tribes -Thesiger shared the traditional life and customs of little-known villagers. He visited the centuries-old lapis lazuli mine in Munjan: and in Badakhshan he encountered the Kandari nomads and their flocks during their annual migration to the lowlands.
Each of his mountain journeys has a unique quality, which inspired many of the finest photographs Thesiger has ever taken. These images of startling beauty, combined with Thesiger’s vivid prose – based on his original unpublished diaries – document brilliantly the hardships, dangers and rewards of thirty years of mountain travel.
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Book Description Harpercollins Uk, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 000255898X