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Harry de Windt


A Fellow of the prestigious Royal Geographic Society of England, Harry de Windt had two of the traits essential to adventurers:  bravery and foolhardiness.  After a stint as the ADC to the Rajah of Sarawak, he became an explorer and wrote many successful and entertaining books about his travels.  De Windt epitomised the best attributes of the Victorian traveller:  he was intrepid without being macho, and as much at home in his exclusive club in London as he was in a raggedy tent on top of a Persian mountain.

Along with fellow Long Rider Roger Pocock, de Windt joined forces with  H. Rider Haggard, Erskine Childers  and Arthur Conan Doyle in the paramilitary group known as the Legion of Frontiersmen.

Born in Paris, de Windt died on England’s south coast in Bournemouth at the age of 77.


From Paris to New York by Land

Harry de Windt

ISBN 1590480759 




When it came to dash and flair, few  nineteenth-century adventure travelers could compete with handsome Harry de Windt. A Fellow of the prestigious Royal Geographic Society of England, De Windt already had a reputation for bravery and foolhardiness. Then he decided to top his own reputation by undertaking a journey too crazy to be considered by anyone else.

He announced to a stunned Europe that he was going to leave his adopted home in Paris and journey to New York city. However instead of traveling west, crossing the Atlantic on a ship like everyone else in his day, De Windt proposed to travel east, across the frozen steppes of Siberia by horse-drawn sleigh, over the ice-packs of the Arctic Ocean by dog-sled, through the dark waterways of Canada by boat, and finally past the western deserts of the United States by train, before finally reaching his destination in faraway New York.

What followed can only be compared to a Jules Verne fiction, yet is absolutely true. De Windt dined with political exiles in Siberia, almost starved in the Arctic ice fields, and lived through more dangers than a dozen men. Yet through it all this dashing explorer kept his nerve and his panache. Amply illustrated with photographs taken by the author, “From Paris to New York by Land” remains a page-turning thriller of early adventure travel.


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A Ride to India

Harry de Windt

ISBN 1590481305









Blame it on the Czar !

If Harry de Windt, that dashing 19th century Long Rider, had been allowed to follow his original plan, he would have galloped to India via the Central Asian satraps of His Imperial Russian Highness.  When suspicious St. Petersburg put a halt to Harry’s Russian route, the intrepid equestrian explorer determined to reach his goal via the Shah’s empire instead.

What followed was a ride to remember as Harry de Windt, lecturer, author, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and equestrian explorer par excellence, saddled up in 1890 and set off to examine the forgotten corners of Persia and Baluchistan.

The resultant journey was literally one for the record books as the redoubtable Harry proved time and again that he wasn’t going to be put off by a few minor inconveniences such as the weather, which ranged from an arctic storm in Persia that froze his cigar to his lips, to a howling desert wind in Baluchistan with temperatures nearing 120 degrees Fahrenheit!

Neither was handsome Harry bothered by the less than ideal accommodations he discovered.

“The floor was crawling with vermin but in Persia one must not be particular,” he casually observed.

Nor was our author overly concerned about his physical safety, dismissing the fact that the last foreign traveler who attempted this route had been “waylaid, robbed, tied to a tree, and left to starve.”

Though it reads like a mounted Jules Verne novel, “A Ride to India” is replete with the author’s scientific observations and appendices, including details from his exact route, “road overgrown, much camel thorn,” to Harry’s “Table of Languages in Baluchistan.”

Part science, all adventure, “A Ride to India” takes the reader for a canter across the Persian Empire of a romantic and bygone age.

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