A Connoisseur of Civilizations

William Dalrymple on Robert Byron (and some suggested reads on Afghanistan):

Byron was a brave traveller, an art historian of erudition, and a connoisseur of civilisations. Above all, he was a writer of prose whose chiselled beauty has cast its spell on English travel writing ever since. Byron had a remarkable ability to evoke place, to bring to life a whole world in a single unexpected image, to pull a perfect sentence out of the air with the ease of a child netting a butterfly.

High praise from Dalrymple who is also a magnificent writer. In case you missed it, I wrote a review of his book From the Holy Mountain here.