Ex Libris Kirkland

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Subtitle The Classic Great Game Bestseller
Editor Peter Hopkirk
First Written 1876
Genre Travel
Origin UK
Publisher Oxford University Press
My Copy trade paperback.
First Read September 02, 2015

On Horseback Through Asia Minor

I picked this up because it seems like adventurous travel writing in the vein of Peter Fleming. I really know nothing about it, besides what's on the back of the book and Wikipedia. It's from 1876, and was apparently pretty popular.

One observation that came pretty early: Burnaby is on a long journey by foot, and has two servants named Radford and Osman. They have a very LOTR vibe. Radford is the English servant, and like Samwise Gamgee, is always befuddled or scandalized that the Turks don't behave like English, and he's more or less good-hearted so far. Osman is the local Turk guide/servant, and he's like a weasely Gollum - ingratiating and sneaky, always trying to get away with something. He's not really an enemy, but we wouldn't be surprised to find that he was sabotaging the journey along the way.

Even the names are similar! Radford:Samwise :: Osman:Gollum.

So my question is: it's such a striking overlap, I wonder if this book influenced Tolkien? Or could it be an part of an existing literary trope that I'm not familiar with?

Noted on September 2, 2015

Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
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