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Thomas, Lucy and Alatau

The Atkinsons' Adventures in Siberia and the Kazakh Steppe

By (author) John Massey Stewart
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Unicorn Publishing Group, London, United Kingdom
Published: 1st Jun 2018
Dimensions: w 156mm h 234mm d 32mm
Weight: 1051g
ISBN-10: 1911604309
ISBN-13: 9781911604303
Barcode No: 9781911604303
This is the first full biography of an unjustly forgotten man: Thomas Witlam Atkinson (1799 - 1861), architect, artist, traveller extraordinaire, author - and bigamist. Famous in his lifetime as `the Siberian traveller', he spent seven years travelling nearly 40,000 miles through the Urals, Kazakhstan and Siberia with special authorisation from the Tsar, producing 560 watercolour sketches - many published here for the first time - of the often dramatic scenery and exotic peoples. He kept a detailed daily journal, now extensively quoted for the first time with his descendants' cooperation. This is also the story of Lucy, his spirited and intrepid wife and their son Alatau Tamchiboulac, called after their favourite places and born in a remote Cossack fort. They both shared his many adventures and extremes of heat and cold, travelling with him on horseback up and down precipices and across dangerous rivers, escaping a murder plot atop a great cliff and befriending the famous Decembrist exiles.

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"Essential reading . . . . The Atkinsons were pioneers in every sense, and their immersion in a time and place was rarely matched. What is more, by emphasising the integral role of Lucy Atkinson, Massey Stewart makes a valuable effort to rebalance the gender prejudices of the period. These were, after all, not Thomas's adventures alone. His life, his travels, and his accounts, were altogether richer for her involvement, and this is worthy of both recognition and celebration."--Asian Affairs