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Europe in the Looking-Glass

Europe in the Looking-Glass

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In 1941, Robert Byron was killed when the ship on which he was travelling was torpedoed in the North Atlantic. Four years earlier his book The Road to Oxiana had
been published, and it is for this seminal work that he is today best remembered.

However, Byron’s first book had been published some twelve years before that.
In 1925, sent down from Oxford for ‘misdemeanours’ and with little else to do, he had embarked with three friends on a car journey to Athens. Footloose, immature and
anything but mechanically-minded, they blundered from one crisis to the next.
Despite the boisterous, self-indulgent attitude with which he and his companions approach their journey, it is here that Byron’s remarkable skill as a travel writer is
first revealed. His responses to the architecture of Italy and Classical Greece remain extraordinarily evocative; his independence of mind and indifference to hardship and adversity were to characterise his later exploration the Middle East and South Asia.

Above all, Europe in the Looking-Glass is a portrait of a continent and its people that were soon to change irrevocably. It is here reprinted for the first time in over eighty years with a foreword by renowned travel writer Jan Morris.

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