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The Tartan Turban

Imagine spending thirteen years fighting and travelling in disguise in the deserts of Inner Asia, then another thirteen years as an officer in the army of the Sikhs, the last of India's great native empires. How would you convince a disbelieving Western audience? Suppose, too, that while 'long separated from the world' you had acquired a reputation for conduct utterly unacceptable in civilised society. How would you justify it?
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About the Author

Keay's narrative histories of India, China and the East India Company are widely regarded as standard works. His India: A History (now in its second edition) has been in print for over 25 years. He is also the author of the Royal Geographical Society's 'History of World Exploration'.Forty years and twenty books later, Keay's credentials for writing about Gardner both as a scholar and writer are unrivalled.


"One of the most enjoyable of all [Keay's] many marvellous books on south and central Asia. ... Minutely researched, wittily written and beautifully produced, it is one of John Keay's most memorable achievements." - The Spectator; "John Keay, doyen of British Indian studies, has written a thoroughly-researched biography ... It's a masterly account of an extraordinary life in an extraordinary time and place; utterly entrancing." - The Scotsman; "It's an extraordinary story, meticulously researched." - Choice magazine (UK); "Whether the focus is long and synoptic or short and detailed, Keay is always a fascinating guide to India and the origins of the Great Game." - The National

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