For five centuries the legend of a Christian priest king, in Asia or in Africa, sustained the hopes of Europeans in their struggle with Islam. Those who joined the search for Prester John were looking for a man who was not there.
Unlike his grandfather Chinggis Khan, the Mongol ruler Hulegu Khan is little known in the West. But his destruction of two Islamic empires, as well as a failed attempt to forge an alliance with Christendom, gave him a notoriety that persists to this day.
Raymond A. Mohl describs how the nineteenth century history of Anglo-Russian conflict in Central Asia is marked by gradual Russian advances and gradual British retreats.