Asian Affairs, the Journal of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs, has just published my article on Thomas and Lucy Atkinson. In this 7,000-word article, Thomas and Lucy Atkinson: Pioneering Explorers of the Steppe, I have made the case for a reassessment of the importance of their travels and their writings.
I argue that their extensive travels over the course of seven years – around 40,000 miles by horse, carriage, raft and sometimes on foot – shone a light on many areas of Central Asia and Siberia that had never been seen by Westerners before. The fact that they travelled as a family group, including their son Alatau, is probably unique in the annals of Western exploration. Thomas’ paintings of the landscapes through which they travelled, together with the portraits he made of nomadic Kazakhs, are a remarkable legacy, rightly treasured in the many museums in which they are held. And Lucy’s wonderful book, Recollections of Tartar Steppes, is one of the earliest genuine travel books every written by a woman.
For those of you who have a subscription to Asian Affairs, you can access the article here. Otherwise, you can read my unedited manuscript as submitted here: Article for Asian Affairs Journal: I would be delighted to hear any comments.