Forbidden Journey: The Life of Alexandra David-Neel

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The Secret lives of Alexandra David-Neel is the definitive biography of the first European to explore Tibet at a time when foreigners were banned; few have led a life of adventure equal to hers, or made so much of it. In Tibet and Sikkim, David-Neel lived among hermits and shamans, bandits and pilgrims. She had a torrid love affair with the handsome Maharajah of Sikkim and studied with a genuine master in a cave high in the Himalayas. Herself a Buddhist, David-Neel knew first-hand the Tibet of magic and mystery ...
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1st Edition, VG+/Fine- DJ just slightly nicked head of spine, ink owner name, address stamp on front endpaper, o.w. clean, bright & tight. Price unclipped. ISBN 0062503456

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1st Edition, Fine/Fine Clean, tight & bright. NO ink names, bookplates, DJ tears etc. Price unclipped. ISBN 0062503456

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1st Edition, Fine/Fine Clean, tight & bright. No ink names, tears, chips, foxing etc. Price unclipped. ISBN 0062503456

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1st Edition, Fine/Fine- Price clipped, o.w. clean, tight & bright. No ink names, tears, chips, foxing etc. ISBN 0062503456 SIGNED, INSCRIBED & dated by author(Barbara) on ... Half Title Page. Read more Show Less

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Overview

The Secret lives of Alexandra David-Neel is the definitive biography of the first European to explore Tibet at a time when foreigners were banned; few have led a life of adventure equal to hers, or made so much of it. In Tibet and Sikkim, David-Neel lived among hermits and shamans, bandits and pilgrims. She had a torrid love affair with the handsome Maharajah of Sikkim and studied with a genuine master in a cave high in the Himalayas. Herself a Buddhist, David-Neel knew first-hand the Tibet of magic and mystery closed to other travelers from the West, the secret mystical practices of Tibetan Buddhism including out-of-body travel, telepathy, vampiric Shamanism, and tantric sex. After returning to France, she wrote some thirty books, among them My Journey to Lhasa and Magic and Mystery in Tibet. She has had a profound influence on, among other things, Beat culture and the emergence of an American Buddhism.
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Editorial Reviews

Arlene Blum
An important and well-researched account of the like of one of the world's outstanding explorers, travelers, and Buddhist scholars.

-Arlene Blum, author of Annapurna: A Woman's Place

Hugh Richardson
In a triumph of determined research, Barbara and Michael Foster have followed the varied and little known events in the life of this extraordinary woman -- courageous and fiercely independent... a difficult person but rich material for this vivid and absorbing story.

-Hugh Richardson, Britain's last diplomat in Tibet and author of A Cultural History of Tibet

Kirkus Reviews
The authors' affection for their subject is warmly communicated in this biography of David-Neel (1868, 1969), the French Tibetophile who was the first European woman to explore the once forbidden (to foreigners) city of Lhasa. The Fosters already have one biography of David-Neel to their credit (Forbidden Journey, 1987). In their preface to this book, they present it as an entirely revised edition of the earlier one, incorporating information gleaned from additional source materials and interviews. The authors' characterization of their subject's many writings, "witty and entertaining," applies as well to their own.

The biography opens as a movie might, on David-Neel's surreptitious departure from Lhasa in May 1924, after having entered illegally following a perilous journey. Succeeding chapters flash back to her childhood, marriage, and first journeys east, culminating in the great trek by foot to Lhasa. The final chapters on the end of her life, back in France, also review her major writings, which include autobiography, novels, translations of Tibetan texts, and studies of Buddhism. The many epithets used throughout the book, in lieu of the heroine's name—the seeker, adventurer, pilgrim, scholar, orientalist, iconoclast—give some feel for the scope of her character and work. The authors present her as a Tantric mystic who scorned mystification; an ascetic who laid carpets in her Tibetan cave-dwelling; a radical democrat who, a colonialist still, condescended to her adopted Sikkimese son: in short, as the union of opposites that many deeply religious people are. The authors' principal concern is that David-Neel be remembered for her part in preserving Tibet'sreligious legacy, especially now that it is under attack, through the texts she translated and saved for the West, including Tibetan versions of works no longer available in the original Sanskrit from the early Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna.

From the joint talents of the authors (a librarian and a novelist) comes a winsome biography that takes its subject more seriously than itself.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062503459
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/28/1987
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 363

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