Tibet Through China
This is a fascinating narrative of a journey from Shanghai through the Chinese mainland to Tibet undertaken by an intrepid explorer and collector. Avoiding descriptions of places and scenes which received attention in previous works, and withstanding the temptation to generalise from attempts a straightforward and unvarnished account of his sojourn in the little known parts of Tibet and China. The journey was undertaken during the time of Treaty Ports when the European powers were exercising almost unchecked authority in the internal affairs of China. The book provides rare insight into the effects of the operation of this pernicious system even in the innermost areas of China. There are telltale anecdotes, for instance, of the way the large number of missionaries and their establishments functioned in the interior areas of China too often disregarding the authority of the Chinese Government. The author?s several encounters with the provincial Mandarins point towards the general breakdown of the central authority in China and the consequent chaos and confusion that characterised the people?s life in large areas of its dominions. An intimate, sensitive and personal record, this book is a valuable source of much interesting information regarding late 19th century Tibetan and Chinese life.
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