Mission to Tashkent

BAILEY, Frederick Marshman. Mission to Tashkent.

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the search for yourself - by the cheka

BAILEY, Frederick Marshman. Mission to Tashkent. London, Jonathan Cape, [1946].

8vo. Original cloth, lettered in gilt (front cover in Russian), original dust-wrapper (not price-clipped); pp. 312, frontispiece after a spectacular photograph of Pasu Glacier, plates after photographs, folding map in two colours; very light offsetting from endpapers, spine of wrapper a little faded; neat ownership inscription to front fly-leaf, otherwise a very good copy.
First edition. Bailey (1882-1967) was a British intelligence officer in the Indian Army, and accompanied Francis Younghusband for the 1905 Invasion of Tibet. This is 'an account of a mission he led to Tashkent in Russian Turkestan in 1918, during the "intervention" period, to support the elements in Russia who were prepared to continue the war against central powers. He was arrested, escaped, and was enlisted in the Soviet counter-espionage department [it was the Cheka, of all organizations - cataloguer] to go on a mission to Bokhara. Here he actually received orders to search for himself. Eventually he escaped to north Persia after a skirmish with the Soviet guards on the frontier' (blurb inside front flap of wrappers). This narrative was re-published by Peter Hopkirk in 1999 for the Folio Society to make one of the last, and important episodes of the Great Game more accessible.