Thursday, 23 October 2008

I spy ...

Captain Hamilton Bower's Diary of a Journey Across Tibet, published in 1893, details what was essentially a spying mission for the Intelligence Branch of the Quarter Master General's Department in India. He and his party endured bad weather, difficult terrain, stolen horses and "infuriated Tibetans, who had big stones in their hands and were dancing about in a threatening manner".

The first European to cross Tibet - "a huge white blank on our maps" - he received the Royal Geographical Society Founder's medal for his achievement, and the story of the journey is packed full of incident, with photographs and sketches of the scenery and locals.

It is the same Captain Bower who, on a trip to Turkestan in 1890, found the set of manuscripts which now bear his name.

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