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Henning Haslund-Christensen





Though born in Denmark, Henning Haslund had the soul of a Mongol nomad. The foot-loose young man originally journeyed to Outer Mongolia in 1923, ostensibly to help run an experimental agricultural project. Yet it didn’t take long for the call of adventure to out-sing the tune of the peasant’s plow. Henning, who was an excellent horseman, had already explored far afield by the time the farm failed. He was quickly offered more suitable employment by the Swedish ex-patriot, Hertog Larsen, who was known as the “Duke of Mongolia.” Larsen introduced young Henning to Sweden’s most celebrated Central Asian explorer, Sven Hedin. In the company of these two living legends, Henning spent several years exploring the Gobi desert and learning the basics of scientific research.
By 1930 Henning had  decided to branch out on his own. These plans were delayed when he was badly wounded in an avalanche and had to return to Europe for surgery. Following his recovery, Henning lectured in Denmark and Sweden, then announced that he was returning to Mongolia with state of the art recording equipment to record the music and oral legends of Inner Asia.  The lacquer discs which Henning ultimately produced now form the crown jewels of a prized ethnic collection housed at the National Museum in Copenhagen. 
Despite a life full of adventure, war and danger, Henning found himself in Afghanistan in 1947, bound as always for another adventure. Yet the camel bells of the ultimate caravan were calling the Danish rover. He died as he lived, far afield. Henning Haslund lies buried in Kabul, close to the grave of that other Central Asian wanderer, Sir Auriel Stein.

Mongolian Adventure

Henning Haslund

ISBN 1590480511




It was the kind of country that sheltered nomads and harboured renegades. It was wild. It free. It was Mongolia in the early 1920s, that legendary magnet for foot-loose sons of the horizon like Henning Haslund.
Descended from a 19th Century Danish explorer, when young Haslund reached Mongolia in 1923 he discovered a lost equestrian world left largely untouched since the Middle Ages. Cruel Buriat warlords ruled a vast grass covered kingdom inhabited by freedom-loving Mongols, tight-lipped Russian mercenaries and the human riff-raff of a dozen countries. It was a world where traditions of poetry and hospitality ran side by side with extreme cruelty.
Into this realm of horsemen rode Henning Haslund. He originally planned to journey to Mongolia to help other Danes set up an agricultural cooperative. Yet the dust of the steppes got into his blood. There was always some reason not to return to the boring safety of Europe, some horse to ride, some legend to explore. “Mongolian Adventure” is Haslund’s story of these early adventures. It is an epic tale inhabited by a cast of characters no longer present in this lacklustre world, shamans who set themselves on fire, rebel leaders who sacked towns, and wild horsemen whose ancestors conquered the world.
Amply illustrated, it remains a travel classic.

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