In the Empire of Genghis Khan: A Journey among Nomads – Stanley Stewart

Stanley Stewart tells of his travels from London to Dadal in Outer Mongolia (and Ghengis Khan’s birthplace) by way of Istanbul, Sevastapol, Volvograd, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Olgii, Qaraqorum and Ulan Batur. Starting off by boat, moving on to train and jeep, but predominantly on horseback, he travels in the footsteps of William of Rubruck, a 13th century franciscan friar who travelled west to the court of the emperor of the Mongol Horde, the infamous Genghis Khan.

But the book is much more than the journey of a 13th century friar told by a 21st century travel writer. As well as evocative descriptions of the steppe, Stanley Stewart provides insights and understanding of the worlds of Central Asia past and present, and the people, infamous and less well known, who populate(d) them.


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Frontiers of Heaven – Stanley Stewart

A Journey Beyond The Great Wall

Another traveller’s tale recounting their adventures in the vastness of China that lies beyond Beijing. This time, it’s a westerner (although one who seems to be able to converse and communicate to a sufficient degree for independent travel), and Stanley Stewart’s route takes him by boat, train and bus from Shanghai to Taxila, Pakistan, following the Great Wall and the Silk Road, in a 20th century take on the fabled Journey To The West.

Fascinating, pleasantly unpatronising, a lovely final paragraph, and, if i’m honest, it’s got the China-and-the-‘Stans travel bug agitating again….

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