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The Secret Lives of Alexandra David-Neel: A Biography of the Explorer of Tibet: A Biography of the Explorer of Tibet and Its Forbidden Practices
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The Secret Lives of Alexandra David-Neel: A Biography of the Explorer of Tibet: A Biography of the Explorer of Tibet and Its Forbidden Practices

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  25 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Alexandra David-Neel was the first European to explore Tibet at a time when foreigners were banned. Few people have led a life of adventure equal to hers, or made so much of it. This book presents a vividly detailed chronicle of David-Neel's quest to conquer her personal demons and of the outer journey that made her one of the most celebrated figures of her day. 26 photos. ...more
Hardcover, 329 pages
Published May 1st 1997 by "Overlook Hardcover"
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Certainly Alexandra David-Neel was an amazing and interesting person, but this book doesn't do her much justice. In a nutshell, this plucky, well-educated French woman took it upon herself to travel to Tibet, particularly the capital Lhasa, and achieved that goal in 1924. She was an adept of many years study in Tibetan Buddhism, spent time as a disciple to powerful lamas, mastered many of the more esoteric practices of Buddhism, and managed to document many everyday rituals of the various tribes ...more
Apr 01, 2013 Zazzu rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
A really fascinating book--oddly familiar until I realized the book Tulku by Peter Dickenson (which I read years ago)cribbed many notes from Alexandra's life! I am going to have to go back, read that and see if the author did base the character of Mrs. Jones (a fading actress/explorer on Madame David-Neel, a former opera star/explorer!

While I found her drive and journey fascinating, I often felt the woman herself and her charater remained elusive to me.

I read this because I came across a article
Letha Hadady
This high adventure biography of the famous French Buddhist woman traveler to Tibet (1924) covers her childhood and marriage, travels, and romance (tantric sex with a Maharajah) in Asia especially in Tibet and Sikkim. It includes research from the secret files of the India office in London, information from private letters by David-Neel, interviews of top political officials and personal accounts of David-Neel's estate and collection of Tibetan relics. Great for arm-chair travelers or anyone int ...more
Poorly written account of a fascinating life. The authors didn't do their subject any justice.
Story of an incredible woman poorly written. The life of Alexandra David-Neel, the first white woman to enter Lhasa, Tibet, spiced by her knowledge of magic and mystery in Tibet is fascinating and the authors try to recreate it in this book, but lack of talent for biography mars the reading experience. Waiting for a good biography of her.
Ruta Sevo
The subject is fascinating and the writing is great. A gripping story of an amazing adventurer who at age 55 walked out of China into Tibet over snow-covered passes, in order to penetrate Tibetan Buddhism at its source.
Louise Chambers
Fabulous! The first woman into Lhasa Tibet. And she did it with the help of just one other person. A Buddhist Lama adept, a scholar, and a feminist.
Bhoomi Redpath
Mysterious, fascinating, quite marvellous!
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