CHRISTIE, Ella R. Through Khiva to Golden Samarkand. The Remarkable Story of a Woman's adventurous Journey alone through the Deserts of Central Asia to the Heart of Turkestan. Edinburgh, Riverside Press] for J.B. Lippincott in Philadelphia, 1925.
8vo. Original cloth, decorated and lettered in gilt; pp. 280, plates after photographs; only very light marking to cloth, internally light even toning and very few mild spots only here and there, neat ownership inscription to front fly-leaf; a very good copy in the superior binding.
Scarce first edition, the US issue of a remarkable Central Asian travelogue. 'Lured by the exotic names of Samarkand and Bukhara, and the desire to see the lands east of the Caspian Sea, she embarked on her first journey, armed with the necessary permits from the Russian authorities, carrying a camp bed, a spirit lamp and cooking pots, a bag of oatmeal, biscuits and butter, and a samovar for boiling the water. She travelled from Constantinople and the Black Sea across Georgia to the Caspian, and from there by boat and train to Ashkabad, in the Turkestan desert, travelling mainly by train, and on to Merv, where she played tennis with Prince Bariatinsky, manager of the imperial estate, before moving on through Buhkhara and Samarkand on the old Silk Road to Kokand, and reached Andhizan, on the border of Chinese Turkestan. On her second journey, from St Petersburg, she travelled 3000 miles by train to Tashkent and, deciding not to proceed by camel, went by military steamer and then droshky from Samarkand to Khiva, where she was received by the khan in his palace: she was the first British woman, and the first Briton since 1875, to reach Khiva. On all her journeys she kept diaries, wrote long letters to her sister, and took photographs, an activity she always referred to as Kodaking' (ODNB).