Younghusband: The Last Great Imperial Adventurer

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9780002157339: Younghusband: The Last Great Imperial Adventurer

Sir Francis Younghusband was the last of the great imperialists, a dashing adventurer - in 1903 he single-handedly invaded Tibet, wiped out its entire army and then became a mystic. Admired by H.G Wells and Bertrand Russell, he held the world record for the 300-yard dash, was the first European since Marco Polo to travel from Peking to Central Asia, discovered the source of the Indus and as a spy his presumed death almost sparked off an Indo-Russian war. The quest to quantify this man has led Patrick French through the Mustagh Pass, from the Himalayas to Kashmir, and into Tibet in search of clues, and into Younghusband's personal papers only recently made available personal papers only recently made available to the public.

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Review:

‘Breathtakingly accomplished.’ Jonathan Keats, Observer

‘I cannot begin to do justice to the skill and the fun of this happy work. Younghusband is a glorious biography, fair, frank, and always interesting. They don’t come much more enjoyable than this.’ Jan Morris, Independent

‘I found myself reading through the night. This is a rare gem of a book.’ Fiammetta Rocco, Independent on Sunday

‘A charming biography which mingles travel with impressive research.’ Ian Thomson, Sunday Times

‘This is a wonderful book: beautifully written, wise, balanced, fair, funny and above all extremely original…an altogether brilliant debut.’ William Dalrymple, Spectator

Praise for ‘Liberty or Death’:

‘Brilliant…There can surely now be no serious doubt French is the most impressive Western historian of modern India currently at work.’ Frank McLynn, Glasgow Herald

‘Well researched, beautifully written and immensely scholarly.’ Andrew Roberts, Sunday Times

From the Back Cover:

"Breathtakingly accomplished… Ranks as one of the year's most thrilling biographies"
JONATHAN KEATES, 'Observer'

"The soldier, mystic and explorer Francis Younghusband, who fulfilled the romantic dreams of the late British Empire, was once as legendary a figure as Marco Polo or Lawrence of Arabia. He lives again most vividly and entertainingly in Patrick French's remarkable book. Deftly interweaving his own research adventures with his subject's exploits, he ingeniously brings immediacy and historical perspective to his narrative. From its endearing Introduction to its revelatory Epilogue, this is a story full of excitement and insight, humour and curiosity"
MICHAEL HOLROYD

"I cannot begin to do justice to the skill and fun of this happy work… 'Younghusband' is a glorious biography, fair, frank, and always interesting… They don't come much more enjoyable than this."
JAN MORRIS, 'Independent'

"A brilliant and sensitive portrait of one of the foremost players of the Great Game. A remarkable achievement."
PETER HOPKIRK

"'Younghusband' is a charming biography which mingles travel with impressive research."
IAN THOMPSON, 'Sunday Times'

"This is a wonderful book: beautifully written, wise, balanced, fair, funny and above all extremely original… in his strange and riveting tale of Younghusband's metamorphosis, Patrick French has made an altogether brilliant debut, and it seems extremely unlikely that a more amusing or more innovative biography will be written this decade."
WILLIAM DALRYMPE, 'Spectator'

"This truly is a brilliant book, and brilliantly funny as well."
JOHN KEEGAN, 'Daily Telegraph'

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French, Patrick
Published by Harpercollins (1995)
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