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22nd of June, 2004 POST·MERIDIEM 02:21

In the course of reading a big stack of material that I bought a few weeks ago, I came across a potted biography of Josiah Harlan, a Pennsylvania Quaker who, as well as being the first US citizen in Afghanistan, managed to get himself the title of Prince of Ghor, apparently a remote region in that country. Rudyard Kipling based his “Man who would be King” on this Yankee, and there’s a recent book came out describing what he did. Think I’ll buy it, when I get paid next.

The US embassy in New Delhi has a summary of his life online, at http://​usembassy.​state.​gov/​posts/​in1/​wwwhsp_0403.​html . Have a look, if you’re into anachronism and improbable travel stories.

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