© 2008 – Routledge
George Nathaniel Curzon was a man of considerable intellect and ambition, combined with a degree of energy and application which were all the more remarkable given that he suffered throughout his life from a spinal deformity which gave him continuous pain and often incapacitated him. His correspondence was prodigious and his output of books, articles and speeches extensive, while the official documents that he produced reveal his close attention to even minor aspects of his responsibilities. Some of his speeches and articles were concerned with British political affairs, and other articles and books dealt with his interest in the conservation and restoration of buildings. The majority, however, stemmed from his global travels and his time as Viceroy of India. His travel writings were notable not just as travelogues, but also for the political, commercial and economic commentaries and analysis that they contained. Sir Martin Ewans has agreed to edit a selection of these writings for Routledge in a five-volume set, bringing his personal experience as a diplomat and acknowledged expert on Central Asian affairs to this comprehensive collection of the works of Curzon that will prove an invaluable research resource for the future.
Collection I: Asian Travels
Volume I. This would contain a) an Introduction to the set, b) a selection of articles, c) excerpts from Curzon’s Tales of Travel and d) The Pamirs and the Source of the Oxus, a short work describing Curzon’s travels in the region, originating in a lecture to the Royal Geographical Society and reproduced as articles in its Journal.
Volume II. An article, A Visit to Bokhara the Noble, and three chapters of Russia in Central Asia in 1889 and the Anglo-Russian Question. The article would substitute for the lengthy travelogue which takes up about half the book, leaving in place the chapters dealing with the effects of the Transcaspian Railway, the Anglo-Russian question and Russian rule in Central Asia.
Volume III. Persia and the Persian Question, Volume I. The outcome of six months of travel in Persia in 1889-90, this volume consists of a travelogue, interspersed with chapters on regional politics and commerce, the Shah and the royal family, the government, institutes and reforms, the army and railways.
Volume IV. Persia and the Persian Question, Volume II. This volume is arranged similarly, with chapters on the navy, the Persian Gulf, revenue, resources and manufactures, commerce and trade, and British and Russian policy. For reasons of space, both volumes would be pruned of the less interesting sections.
Volume V. The Problems of the Far East. This stems from Curzon’s travels in 1887-8 and 1892-3, but concentrates on political, social and economic issues. The first eleven Chapters deal in turn with Japan, Korea and China, the final two with ‘The Destinies of the Far East’ and ‘Great Britain in the Far East’.