In the savage winter of 1876 Captain Frederick Burnaby rode 1,000 miles eastwards from Constantinople to see for himself what the Russians were up to in this remote corner of the Great Game battelfield.
With wars between Turkey and Russia imminent, he wanted to discover, among other things, whether the Sultan's armies were capable of resisting a determined Tsarist thrust towards Constantinople.
Frederick Gustav Burnaby was no ordinary officer. For a start he was reputed to be the strongest man in the British Army.
Nor was he all brawn, being fluent in seven languages and possessing a vigorous and colourful prose style-as readers of this Great Game classic will discover.
With his servant Radford, he spent five months riding across some of the cruellest winter landscape in the world before hastening home to write this best-seller.