Central Asia, Exploration, Great Game

Great Game manuscript gifted to RSAA: George Hayward

Dr Rosie Llewellyn-Jones MBE, RSAA Archivist, writes on the gift by Kathleen Hopkirk, widow of the author Peter Hopkirk, to the RSAA of a 19th century notebook written by George Hayward, one of the early players of the Great Game.

He fell among thieves was a favourite Victorian poem by Sir Henry Newbolt, recited in drawing rooms throughout England. It is a highly emotive and somewhat inaccurate account of the murder of George Hayward, an early explorer during the Great Game that was played out between British India and Russia. Newbolt was only a boy when news of Hayward’s death in the Hindu Kush on 18 July 1870, reached England. But there was something both inspiring and fearful about this lonely, thirty-year-old man, disguised in ‘native dress’ who had explored the Pamirs, the roof of the world, with only four Tibetan servants and baggage-carrying animals. Continue reading

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