Charles Allen - A Mountain In Tibet - Little, Brown Book Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781405524971
    • Publication date:17 Jan 2013

A Mountain In Tibet

The Search for Mount Kailas and the Sources of the Great Rivers of Asia

By Charles Allen

  • Paperback
  • £10.99

A classic book from the bestselling travel writer and historian, Charles Allen, author of Plain Tales from the Raj, first published by Abacus in 1983.

Throughout the East there runs a legend of a great mountain at the centre of the world, where four rivers have their source. Charles Allen traces this legend to Western Tibet where there stands Kailas, worshipped by Hindus and Buddhists alike as the home of their gods and the navel of the world. Close by are the sources of four mighty rivers: the sacred Ganges, the Indus, the Sutlej and Tsangpo-Brahmaputra.

For centuries Kailas remained an enigma to the outside world. Then a succession of remarkable men took up the challenge of penetrating the hostile, frozen wastelands beyond the Western Himalayas, culminating in the great age of discovery, the final years of the Victorian era.

A Mountain in Tibet is an extraordinary story of exploration and high adventure, full of the excitement and colour expected from the author of Plain Tales from the Raj.

Biographical Notes

Charles Allen is the author of a number of bestselling books about Indian and the colonial experience elsewhere. A traveller, historian and master storyteller he is one of the great chroniclers of India.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780349139388
  • Publication date: 10 Jan 2013
  • Page count: 304
  • Imprint: Abacus
For 30 years Allen has been quietly plugging away at the unfashionable field of colonial history, producing a whole shelf-full of well-researched, well-written and eminently readable works of narrative history, illuminating a whole succession of previously unwritten corners of British Indian history — William Dalrymple
Sphere

My Scotland

Val McDermid
Authors:
Val McDermid

'I love stories. My life has been book-ended and bookmarked by hearing them, reading them and telling them. In my mind's eye, I can see where each of these stories unfolds . . .'In MY SCOTLAND, number one bestselling author Val McDermid takes readers to the landscapes where she has lived all her life, and the places where her stories and characters reside.Accompanied by over 100 stunning photographs, this remarkable book uncovers Val's own Scotland in all its glory - from the iconic Isle of Skye to the majestic streets of Edinburgh; from the undiscovered hideaways of the Highlands to the wild and untamed Jura.Featuring excerpts from Val McDermid's bestselling novels and charting Karen Pirie's Fife to Lyndsey Gordon's Glasgow, MY SCOTLAND is an unforgettable and uniquely personal journey.

Constable

To Venice with Love

Philip Gwynne Jones
Authors:
Philip Gwynne Jones
Hachette Books

See You Again in Pyongyang

Travis Jeppesen
Authors:
Travis Jeppesen

From ballistic missile tests to stranger-than-fiction stories of purges and assassinations, news from North Korea never fails to dominate the global headlines. But what is life there actually like?In See You Again in Pyongyang, Jeppesen culls from his experiences living, traveling, and studying in North Korea to create a multi-faceted portrait of the country and its idiosyncratic capital city. Not quite memoir, not quite travelogue, not quite history book, Jeppesen offers a poignant and utterly original examination of the world's strangest country. Anchored by the experience of his five trips to North Korea, Jeppesen weaves in his observations and interactions with citizens from all walks of life, constructing a narrative rich in psychological detail, revealing how the North Korean system actually functions and perpetuates itself in the day-to-day, beyond the propaganda-fueled ideology.He challenges the Western notion that Pyongyang is merely a "showcase capital" where everything is staged for the benefit of foreigners, as well as the idea that Pyongyangites are brainwashed robots. Going beyond the clichés of "taboo tourism" and the "good versus evil" tenor of politicians and media reports, See You Again in Pyongyang is an essential addition to the literature about one of the world's most fascinating and mysterious places.

Sphere

Departures

Anna Hart
Authors:
Anna Hart
Sphere

The Zanzibar Wife

Deborah Rodriguez
Authors:
Deborah Rodriguez
Little, Brown

Coromandel

Charles Allen
Authors:
Charles Allen

COROMANDEL. A name which has been long applied by Europeans to the Northern Tamil Country, or (more comprehensively) to the eastern coast of the Peninsula of India.This is the India highly acclaimed historian Charles Allen visits in this fascinating book. Coromandel journeys south, exploring the less well known, often neglected and very different history and identity of the pre-Aryan Dravidian south. During Allen's exploration of the Indian south he meets local historians, gurus and politicians and with their help uncovers some extraordinary stories about the past. His sweeping narrative takes in the archaeology, religion, linguistics and anthropology of the region - and how these have influenced contemporary politics. Known for his vivid storytelling, for decades Allen has travelled the length and breadth of India, revealing the spirit of the sub-continent through its history and people. In Coromandel, he moves through modern-day India, discovering as much about the present as he does about the past.

PublicAffairs

All Over the Place

Geraldine DeRuiter
Authors:
Geraldine DeRuiter

Most travel memoirs involve a button-nosed protagonist nursing a broken heart who, rather than tearfully watching The Princess Bride while eating an entire 5-gallon vat of ice cream directly out of the container (like a normal person), instead decides to travel the world, inevitably falling for some chiseled stranger with bulging pectoral muscles and a disdain for wearing clothing above the waist.This is not that kind of book.Geraldine met the love of her life long before this story began, on a bus in Seattle surrounded by drunk college kids. She gets lost constantly, wherever she goes. And her nose would never, ever be considered "button-like."Hilarious, irreverent and heartfelt, All Over the Place chronicles the five-year period that kicked off when Geraldine got laid off from a job she loved and took off to travel the world. Those years taught her a great number of things, though the ability to read a map was not one of them. She has only a vague idea of where Russia is, but she understands her Russian father now better than ever before. She learned that at least half of what she thought was her mother's functional insanity was actually an equally incurable condition called "being Italian." She learned about unemployment and brain tumors and lost luggage and lost opportunities and just getting lost, in countless terminals and cabs and hotel lobbies across the globe. And she learned what it's like to travel the world with someone you already know and love. How that person can help you make sense of things, and can, by some sort of alchemy, make foreign cities and far-off places feel like home. In All Over the Place, Geraldine imparts the insight she gained while being far from home-wry, surprising, but always sincere, advice about marriage, family, health, and happiness that come from getting lost and finding the unexpected.

Abacus

The Savage Wars Of Peace

Charles Allen
Authors:
Charles Allen

Since the Second World War the British Army has been engaged in armed conflicts around the globe in every year except 1968. Some have been full-scale military campaigns, but most have been undeclared wars, fought out in such widely differing theatres as Malaya, Kenya, Cyprus, Brunei, Borneo, Aden, Oman and Northern Ireland.The Savage Wars of Peace is the fighting soldiers' view of these campaigns, recounted in their own words to oral historian Charles Allen, chronicler of such classics as Plain Tales from the Raj and Tales from the South China Seas. Drawing on the spoken recollections of over seventy military figures of all ranks, Charles Allen has assembled a rich kaleidoscope of images of warfare as experienced by those at the sharp end.Letting the soldiers speak for themselves, with extraordinary and sometimes very moving candour, these unique first-hand accounts give a rare insight into Britain's modern 'peacetime' army - the changes it has undergone since 1945, and the bonds that unite fighting men.

Abacus

Tales From the Dark Continent

Charles Allen
Authors:
Charles Allen

Charles Allen captures the vanished world of British Colonial Africa in the recollections of the pioneering men and women who lived and worked there.

Sphere

The House on Carnaval Street

Deborah Rodriguez
Authors:
Deborah Rodriguez

I hadn't been planning on making Mexico my new home, but the little house on the sea was all that I had left . . . Intimate, honest and touching, this is the story of Deborah Rodriguez's often hilarious journey of self-discovery. Forced to flee her life in Afghanistan, she leaves behind her friends, her possessions and her two beloved businesses: a hair salon and a coffee shop.But life proves no easier 'back home'. After a year living in California where she teeters on the edge of sanity, Deborah makes a decision: she's going to get the old Deb back. So, at the age of forty-nine, she packs her life and her cat, Polly, into her Mini Cooper and heads south to a pretty seaside town in Mexico. Home is now an unassuming little house on Carnaval Street.If you liked Eat, Pray, Love you will love The House on Carnaval Street. Rodriguez's story speaks to every woman, mother, sister, wife - to anyone who has ever questioned their relationships, their place in the world and the choices that they've made.

Constable

The Bookshop That Floated Away

Sarah Henshaw
Authors:
Sarah Henshaw
Abacus

Ashoka

Charles Allen
Authors:
Charles Allen
Robinson

The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: Central and South Asia

John Keay
Authors:
John Keay

Alarms amongst the Uzbeks - Alexander BurnesOf all the "forbidden" cities (Timbuktu, Mecca, Lhasa, Riyadh and so on) none enjoyed a more fearsome reputation that Bukhara in Uzbekistan. The first British Indian expedition, that of William Moorcroft in 1819-26, had never returned. Moorcroft's disappearance, like that of Livingstone or Franklin, posed a challenge in itself and preyed on the minds of his immediate successors. Heavily disguised and in an atmosphere of intense intrigue, Burnes and Dr James Gerard crossed the Afghan Hindu Kush in 1832 and approached the scenes of Moorcroft's discomfiture. They would both return; and "Bukhara Burnes" would become the most renowned explorer of his day.On the Roof of the World - John WoodIn 1937 Alexander Burnes returned to Afghanistan on an official mission. Amongst his subordinates was a ship's lieutenant who, having surveyed the navigational potential of the river Indus, took off on a mid-winter excursion into the unknown Pamirs between China and Turkestan. Improbably, therefore, it was John Wood, a naval officer and the most unassuming of explorers, who became the first to climb into the hospitable mountain heartland of Central Asia and the first to follow to its source the great river Oxus (or Amu Darya.)Exploring Angkhor - Henri MouhotBorn in France, Mouhot spent most of his career in Russia as a teacher and then in the Channel Islands. A philologist by training, he also took up natual history and it was with the support of the Royal Zoological Society that in 1858 he set out for South East Asia. From Siam (Thailand) he penetrated Cambodia and Laos, where he died; but not before reaching unknown Angkhor and becoming the first to record and depict the most extensive and magnificent temple complex in the world. His discovery provided the inspiration for a succession of subsequent French expeditions up the Mekong.Over the Karakorams - Francis Edward YounghusbandAs leader of the 1904-5 British military expedition to Lhasa and as promoter of the early assaults on Mount Everest, Younghusband came to epitomize Himalayan endeavour. To the mountain he also owed his spiritual conversion from gung-ho solider to founder of the World Congress of Faiths. His initiation came in 1887 when, as the climax to journey from Peking across the Gobi desert, he determines to reach India over the unexplored Mustagh Pass in the Karakorams - "the most difficult and dangerous achievement in these mountains so far" (S.Hedin).Trials in Tibet - Ekai KawaguchiBy the 1890's the capital of "forbidden" Tibet, unseen by a foreigner since Huc's visit, represented the greatest challenge to exploration. Outright adventurers like the dreadful Henry Savage Landor competed with dedicated explorers like Sven Hedin, all succumbed to to a combination of official vigilance and physical hardship. The exception, and the winner in "the race for Lhasa", was a Buddhist monk from Japan whose expedition consisted of himself and two sheep. Ekai Kawaguchi was supposedly a pilgrim seeking religious texts. His faith was genuine and often tested, as during this 1900 excursion into western Tibet; but he is also thought to have been an agent of the British government in India.

Robinson

The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: Arabia

John Keay
Authors:
John Keay

Escape from Riyadh - William Gifford PalgraveA scholar and a solider, a Jesuit and a Jew, a French spy and a British ambassador- Palgrave was a man of contradictions, all of them highly compromised when in 1862-3, fortified by Pius IX's blessing and Napoleon III's cash, he attempted the first west- east crossing of the Arabian peninsular. To steely nerves and a genius for disguise he owed his eventual success; but not before both were sorely tested when, as a Syrian doctor, he became the first European to enter Riyadh. The desert capital of the fanatical Wahabis, dangerous for an infidel at the best of times, was then doubly so as the sons of the ageing King Feisal intrigued for power.Desert Days - Charles Montagu DoughtyDuring two years (1875-7) wandering in Central Arabia Doughty broke little new ground; dependant on desert charity, his achievement was simply to have survived. Yet his book, Arabia Deserta, was instantly recognized as a classic. Its eccentric prose proves well suited to that minute observation and experience of Bedouin life which was Doughty's main contribution to exploration. T.E. Lawrence called it "a bible of a kind"; both syntax and subject matter have biblical resonances, as in this description of a day's march, or rahla.

Robinson

The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: West Africa

John Keay
Authors:
John Keay

Alone in Africa - Mungo ParkPark's 1795-7 odyssey in search of the Niger first awakened the world to the feasibility of a white man penetrating sub-Saharan Africa. But unlike his illustrious successors, this quiet tenant farmer's son from the Scottish Borders travelled alone; relieved of his meager possessions, he was soon wholly dependant on local hospitality. In what he called "a plain unvarnished tale" he related horrific ordeals with admirable detachment - never more tested than on his return journey through Bamako, now the capital of Mali.The Road to Kano - Hugh ClappertonIn one of exploration's unhappier sagas two Scots, Captain Hugh Clapperton and Dr. Walter Oudney, were saddled with the unspeakable Major Dixon Denham on a three year journey to Lake Chad and beyond. Clapperton mapped much of northern Nigeria and emerged with credit. Major Denham also excelled himself, twice absconding, then accusing Oudney of incompetence and Clapperton of buggery. Happily the Major was absent in 1824, after nursing his dying friend, Clapperton became the first European to reach Kano.Down the Niger - Richard LanderAs Clapperton's manservant, Lander attended his dying master on his 1825 expedition to the Niger and was then commissioned, with his brother John, to continue the exploration of the river. The mystery of its lower course was finally solved when in 1831 they sailed down through Nigeria to the delta and the sea. Unassuming Cornishmen, the Landers approached their task with a refreshing confidence in goodwill of Africans. It paid of in a knife-edge encounter at the confluence of the Benoue, although Richard subsequently paid the price with his life.Arrival in Timbuktu - Heinrich BarthBorn in Hamburg, Barth was already an experienced traveler and a methodical scholar when in 1850 he joined a British expedition to investigate Africa's internal slave trade. From Tripoli the expedition crossed the Sahara to Lake Chad. Its leader died but Barth continued on alone, exploring vast tract of the Sahel from northern Cameroon to Mali. Timbuktu, previously visited only by A.G. Laing and René Caillié, provided the climax as Barth, in disguise, approached the forbidden city by boat from the Niger.My Ogowé Fans - Mary KingsleySelf-educated while she nursed her elderly parents, Mary Kingsley had known only middle-class English domesticity until venturing to West Africa in 1892. Her parents had died and, unmarried, she determined to study "fish and fetish" for the British Museum. Her 1894 ascent of Gabon's Ogowé River (from Travels in West Africa, 1897) established her a genuine pioneer and an inimitable narrator. She died six years later while nursing prisoners during the Boer War.

Robinson

The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: East and Central Africa

John Keay
Authors:
John Keay
Robinson

The Mammoth Book of Travel in Dangerous Places: Australia

John Keay
Authors:
John Keay
Sphere

Right To The Edge: Sydney To Tokyo By Any Means

Charley Boorman
Authors:
Charley Boorman

Charley Boorman is back in the saddle for a brand-new, adrenaline-fuelled adventure!He begins his journey racing north from Sydney up the Gold Coast, where he hitches a ride in a Spitfire. In Papua New Guinea he takes a hand-made canoe through tropical rainforest to stay in a remote tribal village almost untouched by the outside world. He drives a tuk-tuk made of bamboo in the Philippines, rides with the Mad Dog biker gang in Manila and eats deep-fried crickets in Taiwan before reaching his final destination in Tokyo. From active volcanoes to coffee plantations to hilltop monasteries, Charley takes an exhilarating ride through some of the most spectacular countries in the world. Fast paced and fascinating, Right to the Edge is a gripping read from one of our very best travel-adventure writers.

Abacus

Chile: Travels In A Thin Country

Sara Wheeler
Authors:
Sara Wheeler
Abacus

The Search For Shangri-La

Charles Allen
Authors:
Charles Allen

The idea of a hidden refuge, a paradise far from the stresses of modern life, has universal appeal. In 1932 the writer James Hilton coined the word 'Shangri-La' to describe such a place, when he gave that name to a hidden valley in the Himalayas in his novel LOST HORIZON.In THE SEARCH FOR SHANGRI-LA acclaimed traveller and writer Charles Allen explores the myth behind the story. He tracks down the sources that Hilton drew upon in writing his popular romance, and then sets out to discover what lies behind the legend that inspired him. In the course of a lively and amusing account of his four journeys into Tibet, Allen also gives us a controversial new reading of the country's early history, shattering our notions of Tibet as a Buddhist paradise and restoring the mysterious pre-Buddhist religion of Bon to its rightful place in Tibetan culture. He also locates the lost kingdom of Shang-shung and, in doing so, the original Shangri-La itself: in an astounding gorge beyond the Himalayas, full of extraordinary ruins.