December 4th, 2006


Old Travel Books

I enjoy reading old first person travel books, the older the better. The one I'm reading now is a reprint of Peter Fleming's 1936 book: News From the Tartary where he recounts a 3,500 mile trip from Peking (now spelled Beijing, of course), China to India, going through the Sinkiang (Xinjiang, Turkestan) province. Fleming made the trip with several companions; one of them was named Ella (Kini) Maillart, a 30 year old Swiss woman who was also a journalist. I became curious whether she also wrote about the journey so I googled and found:

She appears to have had a long and extremely interesting life, traveling in many parts of Asia. Ella Maillart did write a book about the trip with Peter Fleming titled Forbidden Journey. I think I'll try to find a copy. And also another book of hers: Turkestan Solo written in 1934.