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‘This is a jewel of a book’ – SUNDAY TIMES

‘One of the great stories of archaeology, exploration and espionage’ – William Dalrymple

‘Immensely enjoyable’ – BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE


Reviewed by Chris Day

In 1832, a deserter from the army of the British East India Company by the assumed name of Charles Masson, discovered one of Alexander the Great’s missing cities, all named Alexandria, in Afghanistan. The book tells the incredible story of Masson’s adventures in India and Afghanistan. He begged, he disguised himself and took tea with kings and spied for the East India Company. Impeccably researched, the book reads as if it were fiction describing extraordinary characters and events all set to a background of military invasion and empire expansion, blackmail, and assassinations.