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Among the Tibetans

Isabella L. Bird

Book Overview: 

Isabella L. Bird was an English traveller, writer and natural historian. She was traveling in the Far East alone at a time when such endeavors were risky and dangerous even for men and large, better equipped parties.

In "Among the Tibetans", Bird describes her tour through Tibet with her usual keen eye: From descriptions of the landscape and flora to the manners, customs and religion of the local people we get a fascinating account of a world long past.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .to the heavenly blue sky fields of unsullied snow alone. The descent on the Tibetan side is slight and gradual. The character of the scenery undergoes an abrupt change. There are no more trees, and the large shrubs which for a time take their place degenerate into thorny bushes, and then disappear. There were mountains thinly clothed with grass here and there, mountains of bare gravel and red rock, grey crags, stretches of green turf, sunlit peaks with their snows, a deep, snow-filled ravine, eastwards and beyond a long valley filled with a snowfield fringed with pink primulas; and that was Central Asia.

We halted for breakfast, iced our cold tea in the snow, Mr. M. gave a final charge to the Afghan, who swore by his Prophet to be faithful, and I parted from my kind escorts with much reluctance, and started on my Tibetan journey, with but a slender stock of Hindustani, and two men who spoke not a word of English. On that day's march of fourteen miles there . . . Read More

Community Reviews

There is a certain amount of Victorian dryness which can be off-putting, but when it is employed to make light of near-death experiences from which a little old lady emerges with busted ribs and her composure unruffled, it really works. This is a beautifully written account of a Tibet that no longer

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Among the Tibetans; by Isabella Lucy Bird.
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