A highly readable run through the adventurers and explorers who undertook (and largely failed) the “Race for Lhasa”, provided you are comfortable with Peter Hopkirk’s premise that to be in the race you have to be a White westerner – those of an Asiatic countenance have it too easy, all the more so if they happen to have the added advantage of sharing the Buddhist beliefs of the Tibetan plateau. It goes with The Great Game territory I suppose.
Published in 1982, the book is showing its age – as Peter Hopkirk acknowledges at the close of this 2006 reissue.
In Frinton on Monday (we were in Walton for Easter, when I read Trespassers), I found Alexandra David-Néel‘s account of her journey to Lhasa and the three months she spent there, all the time disguised as a pilgrim. I didn’t buy it – I now wish I had!