The Crossing Place
A revised and updated edition of Philip Marsden’s classic travel book, published to coincide with the centenary of the Armenian massacres.
After centuries of prominence as a world power, Armenia has withstood every attempt during the 20th century to destroy it. With a name redolent both of dim antiquity and of a modern world and its tensions, the Armenians founded a civilization and underwent a diaspora that brought many of the great ideas of the East to Western Europe.
The Crossing Place is Philip Marsden’s gripping account of his remarkable journey through the Middle East, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus in a quest to discover the secret of one of the world’s most extraordinary peoples.
Caught between opposing empires, between warring religions and ideologies – at the crossing place of history – the Armenians have somehow survived against the odds. This is their story – told by one of the finest travel writers at work today.
'A stylish and beautifully written elegy to a lost civilisation....The Crossing Place is about loss and exile, and its pages are full of displaced communities and tenaciously maintained traditions, strange discoveries and odd conversations, all illuminated with brilliant flashes of esoteric learning' William Dalrymple, Spectator 'Marsden's fine and unostentatious travel writing is criss-crossed with traces of politics and cultural history... This is a beautifully written book, with enough incident and observation to convey the unpredictabilities of real travel' Noel Malcolm, Sunday Telegraph 'A terrific travel book' Nicholas Lezard, Guardian 'A wonderful journey recounted with knowledge, humour and a beautiful, elegiac sadness' Observer 'An extraordinary travel narrative ... As a history of the Armenian spirit in the twentieth century, this is possibly the most important book in decades' TLS 'He has gone into a world that remains closed to most outsiders and brought back wonderful pictures' Independent 'The way Marsden uncovers the traditions and secrets of these people from right under Europe's nose is enthralling' Sunday Times
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