The Siberian Overland Route from Peking to Petersburg, Through the Deserts and Steppes of Mongolia, Tartary, &c. by Alexander MichieThe following work has but moderate claims, I fear, to public attention- and it would probably not have seen theMoreThe Siberian Overland Route from Peking to Petersburg, Through the Deserts and Steppes of Mongolia, Tartary, &c. by Alexander MichieThe following work has but moderate claims, I fear, to public attention- and it would probably not have seen the light at all but for the urgent request of friends, who think better of it than the author does.
It has no pretensions to any higher merit than that of being a plain narrative of the journey, and an impartial record of my own impressions of the people among whom I travelled.Although some portions of the route have been eloquently described by Huc and others, I am not aware that any continuous account of the whole journey between the capitals of China and Russia has appeared in the English language for nearly a century and a half.
Important changes have occurred in that period- and, if I may judge of others by myself, I suspect that many erroneous notions are afloat respecting the conditions of life in these far-off regions, and more especially in Siberia. Observation has modified my own pre-conceived opinions on many of the subjects touched on in the following pages, and I am not without a hope that they will be found to contain some information which may be new to many people in this country.If I have indulged in irrelevant digressions, I can only say that I have limited myself to those reflections which naturally suggested themselves in the course of my travels- and the subjects I have given most prominence to are simply those which happened to be the most interesting to myself.My thanks are due to various friends for useful hints, confirming and correcting my own observations- but I am especially indebted for some valuable notes on Siberia, its social phenomena, gold mines, &c., to Edwin E.
Bishop, Esq., whose long residence in the country, and perfect acquaintance with the language and customs of the people, constitute him an authority on all matters connected with that part of the world.