Narrative of a Journey from Heraut to Khiva, Moscow, and St Petersburgh during the Late Russian Invasion of Khiva
This two-volume travelogue recounts the diplomatic mission through Central Asia and Russia undertaken by James Abbott (1807–96) in 1839. An officer in the Bengal Artillery, Abbott first travelled to Central Asia in 1838 and was soon drawn into the 'Great Game' between Russia and Britain as they struggled for influence in the region. When Russia launched an expedition against Khiva in 1839, ostensibly to free Russian slaves, Abbott was sent there to advise the Khan and then travelled to Russia to initiate mediation. While the Russian slaves were freed by Abbott's successor, Abbott believed he had succeeded and published this account in 1843. The work includes anecdotes of his experiences and observations on the cultures and landscapes he encountered. In Volume 1, he describes his journey from Herat to Khiva and the beginning of his journey to Russia.