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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In Xanadu by William Dalrymple | : Books

To ask other readers questions about In Xanaduplease sign up. It is certainly not deserving of the label of a serious travel book. Feb 04, Kenny rated it really liked it. For the first half of the trip he is accompanied by Laura, whom h While waiting for the results of his college exams, William Dalrymple decides to fill in his summer break with a trip.

Late ‘s Syria, Iran, Pakistan and China are also chronicled and criticized.

Dalrymple’s narration paints a colorful picture of the various regions he passes The year is In China they have a journey with involves much fleeing from the Internal security guards!

What brings him straight in to the premier league of travel writers was the ability to match the current day, with immensely readable history of the country and location. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Feb 17, The Tick rated it did not like it Shelves: What makes Dalrymple’s,”In Xanadu” so compelling and special is his extensive grasp of history and always finding practical ways of getting his work done like getting into restricted areas and China nuclear testing grounds.

Amazinglythis was Dalrymple’s first book and he was still a student at Cambridge! It is learned and comic, and a most gifted first book touched by the spirits of Kinglake, Robert Byron and E.

In Xanadu: A Quest by William Dalrymple

Recommended to me by my daughter who was spot on once again. You travel along the ancient Silk Route and get a feel about how the place was some 30 years back. Although a fun read, it gives the reader historical context as well as a look at the different cultures.


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.

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Book Review: William Dalrymple – In Xanadu: A Quest

About years later, an English traveller and a student of history at the Cambridge university, attempts to retrace polo’s footsteps to reach Xanadu, the lost capital city of the Mongolian dynasty under Kublai Khan from the church of nativity, Jerusalem.

To do this he had to pass through Israel, Syria, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and China, visiting some of the most important and memorable sites of antiquity on the way. The Holy City has had more atrocities committed in it, more consistently, than any other town in the world.

But this book turned out to be yet another account of a White man on a daring trip across the world in dangerous lands from whence it is next to impossible to come out alive, all while writing encouragingly of every stereotype the Whites have ever come up with of every other race apart from themselves. Quotes from In Xanadu: Thatcher is a tyrant supposedly to be overthrown tomorrow already, maybe, or whether he interrupts an animist ceremony and is about to be lynched by an angry mob of tribesmen.

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Trivia About In Xanadu: I am willing to excuse him on the grounds that he was merely 20 years old when he wrote this book. On the other hand, I would not be surprised to learn that China is now much easier for the casual foreign traveller than it was in the mids.

In Xanadu: A Quest

Like all travel writers, the year-old Dalrymple was trying to be Patrick Leigh Fermor who chose this as his book of willixm year – it was a brilliant adventure to recreate Marco Polo’s journey from Jerusalem to Kubla Khan’s Xanadu, with two different girls for each half of the route the memorable Laura went on to become a top business executive. He then immortalized his journey in The Travels, which later became one of the most detailed pieces of travel writing ever completed. Laura, his travel companion in the first half of the journey is painted as a tough, domineering and indestructible woman while Louisa, who accompanies him in the second half, is the polar opposite of being “beautiful, delicate and fragrant” his words not mine.


Very enjoyable book contains a lot of architectural descriptions and notes from Damascus in Israel Gate to Xanadu, China William Dalrymple traces the journey of Marco Polo when he ventured to take the Holy Oil from the Holy sepulchre to the the then magnificent summer place of Kublai Khan.

Looking for Alaska Theatre Review: I like to think that I have read a little of the literature relevant to the countries he passed through danadu time and again I was brought up short by some tale of a character, event or xamadu of which I had never heard but that had caught Dalrymple’s imagination and whose story he wished to share.

In Xanadu is an account of his travels, a tumultuous series of events that see a young, privileged Westerner forced out of his comfort zone and thrown into the deep end.

Throughout, his passions for the two do come through, and there’s a great degree of skill in providing the ‘right’ history to link with what he’s seeing in his travels rather than ‘all’ the history regardless.