In Xanadu


At the age of twenty-two, William Dalrymple left his college in Cambridge to travel to the ruins of Kublai Khan’s stately pleasure dome in Xanadu. This is an account of a quest which took him and his companions across the width of Asia, along dusty, forgotten roads, through villages and cities full of unexpected hospitality and wildly improbable escapades, to Coleridge’s Xanadu itself. At once funny and knowledgeable, In Xanadu is in the finest tradition of British travel writing. Told with an exhilarating blend of eloquence, wit, poetry and delight, it is already established as a classic of its kind.


In Xanadu Cover
Format: paperback
Publication Date: 19 September 1998
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 978-0006544159
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Reviews and Quotes

Patrick Leigh Fermor, The Spectator Books of the Year
“William Dalrymple's In Xanadu carries us breakneck from a predawn glimmer in the Holy Sepulchre right across Asia... It is learned and comic, and a most gifted first book touched by the spirits of Kinglake, Robert Byron and E. Waugh.”
Sir Alec Guinness, The Sunday Times
“The delightful, and funny, surprise mystery tour of the year.”
Alexander Maitland, Scotland on Sunday
“In Xanadu is, without doubt, one of the best travel books of the last twenty years. It is witty and intelligent, brilliantly observed, deftly constructed and extremely entertaining… Dalrymple’s gift for transforming ordinary, humdrum experience into something extraordinary and timeless suggests that he will go from strength to strength.”