John Alfred Gray was a practising London doctor in 1888 when he was approached by Sir Salter Payne who had returned from Kabul on the orders of the Amir to procure an English surgeon. During intervals in his professional work at the Court, Gray recorded his daily experiences and events in the Afghanistan of the period. Much of his writing is compiled from the regular letters which he sent to his fiancee in England providing the work with a freshness and spontaneity showing Gray coming to know Afghanistan, the country and the people. Through the course of the book the story of Gray’s life in Afghanistan unfolds, but it is no merely a commentary of a visit, rather an evaluation of a country in flux and its powerful monarch, Amir Abdurrahman. Gray’s position brought him into contact with the rich and the poor, lowly dwellings and palaces, slaves and royalty. His book gives a vivid first-hand account of the Afghan nation in the late nineteenth century, as observed by an impressionable outsider.