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Author: Alexandra David-Neel
Publisher: TBI Paperback
ISBN/UPC (if available): N/A
In 1923, at the age of fifty-five, Alexandra David-Neel became the first European woman to enter the forbidden city of Lhasa. This book, out of print since 1940, is her account of one of the most extraordinary journeys ever made.
Alexandra David Neel was born in Paris in 1868. As a young girl she began to attend lectures on eastern religions at the Paris Theosophical Society, dreaming of the journeys she would one day make. Her passion for travel took her to India, Ceylon, and as a singer with the Opera Comique, to the Middle and Far East. Northern India fired her curiosity about Tibetan Buddhism, and led her inexorably to Tibet, then fiercely guarded from foreign eyes. In 1923, she set off by foot to Lhasa with her young companion, a Sikkimese lama: disguised as a pilgrim, maps hidden in her boots, revolver in her peasant dress, she outwitted officials and bandits, enduring days without food and nights without shelter, restoring her energy with a granule of strychnine. She willed heat into her body by thumo reskiang, the mental discipline practiced by Tibetan ascetics, and hypnotized by the will to succeed, finally reached her destination.
In 1925, after fourteen yours in Asia, she returned to France, a celebrity as a traveler, scholar and author. She died in 1969, at the age of one hundred.