In Xanadu [William Dalrymple] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. This is an account of the quest which took William Dalrymple and his. IN XANADU [William Dalrymple] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The author recounts his experiences as he retraced the route followed. At the age of twenty-two, William Dalrymple left his college in Cambridge to travel to the ruins of Kublai Khan’s stately pleasure dome in Xanadu.

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Book Review: William Dalrymple – In Xanadu: A Quest

Lists with This Book. Although a fun read, it gives the reader historical context as well as a look at the different cultures.

His own travels also take him well off the beaten track such as when searching for carpet weavers in Kayseri and silk farms in Osku.

In Xanadu marks the arrival of a new star. Dalrymplr read other books he’s written, and he’s a top class author – and appears thoroughly nice bloke too. Various people of different ethnicities are also mentioned in the book, mainly the present day Central Asians and also, the Willaim from Kohistan and Swat vallies,although various scholars in Pakistan have doubted the dalrumple of many of these accounts. He loves digging up little nuggets about marooned silk-weavers to even forgotten Christian sects, and meets a variety of people, students, “import-export” traders, truck drivers, hippies and a host of others.

His mission is to take holy oil from the Church of the Holy Sepulcre, just as Marco Polo did, when he was deputized to deliver it to Kubla Khan.

Worse is his classism and upper-class biases. I think dalrym;le mature writer must surely groan now at some of his own arrogance and naivety combined, but it’s right to let the original record sit. I also applaud his determination in following this journey out to the end, and for laying the ground and following up with an original idea.

William Dalrymple was born in Scotland and brought up on the shores of the Firth of Forth. I too have traveled halfway across the world, often wondering if the form of transport would break down before reaching its destination. And his disdain for almost all the people and places he passes through surpasses mere xenophobia dlrymple reaches lows of puerile racism.


The appearance of the lamps in the Holy Sepulcher, the design of Turkish mosques, a rare silk mill in a Armenian village or the vivid descriptions of a Uighur market in China — the details are just beautiful.

Book Review: William Dalrymple – In Xanadu: A Quest | Nouse

This book is no different, Marco Polo undertook this epic journey spanning across whole of Asia to China and then to Mongolia in order to take the Crusader’s message of Christianity to the then Muslim king Kubla Khan. He does not even spare his female travel companions. Dalrymple’s narration paints a colorful picture of the various regions he passes The year is In an age where thousands of miles are shrunk into a ten-hour ride in an aluminum tube, Xanadu refreshes the reader by painting the gradual transitions that are an essential part of going from one place to another.

Darlymple undertakes the same journey himself tracing for most part, the silk route, wherever possible given tougher visa norms in today’s world. In the second half he has his by-now-ex Louise along – and handles this deftly too – giving enough of the potential awkwardness, and not mulling on the challenges of travelling with someone who dumped him a couple of months earlier for another bloke.

Interestingly, Dalrymple dismisses Polo’s book The Travels as simply “a dry factual guide to commerce in the East, a book by a merchant for a merchant” which hardly is a ringing endorsement to read ourselves, but this doesn’t prevent him from including passages of Polo’s writings in In Xanadu.

However, the journey succeeds, not just because of wliliam formidableness of Laura, who drives William on part dominatrix-style, part in style of a nanny he may or may not have had; but because of the classiness of the travellers: Muse Arts Wklliam Reviews Books. Preview — In Xanadu by William Dalrymple. At the writing of this book, inmuch more of the route was still open to tourists then it is now. Part of it is to be undertaken with a formidable Ex-Oxford hockey player he has barely met, but who conveniently agrees to fill in as his now Ex-girlfriend flakes out, part of it is to be undertaken with same Ex-girlfriend, who, apparently reconciled with the ex-relationship does not mind so wil,iam riding on the back of a coal truck with William and receiving killer syringes up her arm, if only she can flaunt her new love in front of him, and affair which, as William grudgingly accounts, is celebrated in sheafs of letters of a thickness he himself could dalrrymple hope to receive.


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In Xanadu by William Dalrymple | : Books

While the I’ve always been a fan of William Dalrymple’s work – probably because the first book I read of his was The City of Djinns and it captured the essence of the city so well that it was hard not to fall in love with his writing.

Credits where credits due: Of special note is the part on his passage through the then revolution-torn Iran. I only wish this journey was attempted by someone who would show more respect to the cultures and peoples that are encountered in this journey.

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In Xanadu: A Quest

Tinges of humor and some commentary on the social conditions places he visits add flavor to the text. En route Dalrymple visits and passes through a wide range of historically significant sites and cities and covers off a potpourri of histories’ conquering empires including the Byzantines, Sassanians, Seljuks, Marmalukes, Ummayeds, Franks, Ottomans, Persians, Mongols, Hittites, Philistines, Saracens and Assyrians.

Thanks for telling us dakrymple the problem. Since then I’ve read three of his other books two hits and a miss so it was interesting to return to my first encounter with him twenty-five years ago. Xanadu itself lies within a weapons development zone.

Dalrymple’s previous summer holiday jaunt, walking from Edinburgh to Jerusalem following the route of the First Crusade, prepares him well for the daunting dqlrymple, mile journey, which due to current geopolitical situations, requires him to travel from Israel via Cyprus before picking up Polo’s route again in Syria and then on through Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and thence onto China.