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I believe 2 englishmen had just lost their heads, in samarkand, coincidentally (oh yeah, that narrows the timeline, doesn't it?).
I also recommend "samarkand," a novel of his that seems to draw from his experience in writing the non-fiction.
Khiva to Samarkand - The remarkable story of a woman's adventurous journey alone through the deserts of Central Asia to the heart of Turkestan (Paperback) By Ella Robertson Christie Buy new: $20.009 used and new from $18.10 First tagged "adventure" by publisher "trotamundas press" Customer tags: biography (2), women, adventure, women travellers, turkestan, samarkand, travel book, central asia