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Among the Tibetans

3.44  ·  Rating Details ·  108 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Isabella Bird writes of her adventures in a manner that captivates her readers Isabella L Bird (1831 - 1904) was a 19th century British traveler and writer. Since her father was a Church of England priest the family moved many times during her childhood. Bird traveled to Colorado when she heard the air was very healthy. She covered the 800 miles on horseback riding like a ...more
Paperback, 72 pages
Published February 2nd 2009 by Book Jungle (first published 1894)
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West with the Night by Beryl MarkhamMy Journey to Lhasa by Alexandra David-NéelThe Valleys of the Assassins by Freya StarkStraight on Till Morning by Mary S. LovellEighty Days by Matthew Goodman
Trailblazing Women Adventurers
29th out of 259 books — 122 voters
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3rd out of 56 books — 2 voters

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First Second Books
I already adored "A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains" and this one is even crazier than that one. Lucy is an incredibly strong writer and/but obviously writing for herself first and foremost. I was amused that she begins this book with an accounting of the recent colonial history of Southeast Asia so brief and careless as to be nearly offensive before launching into a several-pages-long paean to the wonderful horse she bought and traveled with on her journey.

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Opening: The Vale of Kashmir is too well known to require description. It is the 'happy hunting-ground' of the Anglo-Indian sportsman and tourist, the resort of artists and invalids, the home of pashm shawls and exquisitely embroidered fabrics, and the land of Lalla Rookh. Its inhabitants, chiefly Moslems, infamously governed by Hindus, are a feeble race, attracting little interest, valuable to travellers as 'coolies' or porters, and repulsive to them from the mingled cunning and obseq
Neens Bea
Jan 22, 2014 Neens Bea rated it it was amazing
Shelves: travel, 2014
Imagine travelling back in time, to 1890 or thereabouts, and accompanying a 60-year-old Victorian lady on her travels in Tibet. A lady famous for travelling on her own and riding 'frontwards' instead of using a lady saddle, and who seems utterly fearless when it comes to traversing mountain passes and fierce rivers. Bizarrely, this woman was a very sickly child, and she still falls ill whenever she spends any amount of time back home in Scotland. Her books were usually compiled from the letters ...more
Jul 17, 2016 Ellen rated it did not like it
I was looking forward to reading a travelogue by a Victorian era Englishwoman who travelled all over the world. Although much is made of her travelling "alone", she always had a large entourage with her, which is to be expected. I was very disappointed in this book, for two reasons: First, Miss Bird apparently spent much of her time sketching, and refers to her sketches frequently in the book to illustrate her point. Alas, the sketches are not reproduced in the edition I read, which is pictured ...more
Dec 19, 2013 John rated it really liked it
There is a certain amount of Victorian dryness which can be off-putting, but when it is employed to make light of near-death experiences from which a little old lady emerges with busted ribs and her composure unruffled, it really works. This is a beautifully written account of a Tibet that no longer exists, and that alone makes it worthwhile. Bird's strong authorial voice and the extraordinary adventures she meets make it incredible. I am intensely interested in her earlier works about Colorado ...more
Dec 24, 2010 Kathy rated it liked it
"The Vale of Kashmir is too well known to require description. It is the 'happy hunting-ground of the Anglo-Indian sportsman and tourist, the resort of artists and invalids, the home of pashm shawls and exquisitely embroidered fabrics, and the land of Lalla Rookh." Thus begins Ms. Bird her account of her travels through a now long-lost Tibet. As always, she records her impressions with a keen eye for beauty and total candor. Fascinating look at a culture of the past.
Maryclaire Zampogna
I have read a few of Isabella Bird's books and this did not disappointment me. She can have you riding the camel with her, the way she describes the people, their culture, the weather, the land and all the dangers, along with the celebrations that she experienced. Isabella at the time was probably the only female explorer to venture into Tibet and the Himalayan mountains. It was a very interesting read.
Isabella Bird had a couple of really entertaining mishaps and adventures that she describes in this book, and travels with some pretty intriguing companions. I'm not sure how I feel about her though. Some of her descriptions of Tibet and it's people are really well done, and others are really...well, unflattering. Still, it's a interesting look at Tibet in the late 1800s, and I can't help but admire Bird's pluck!
This is an interesting recounting of an unusual solo woman traveler who in the late nineteenth century braved the wilds of Kashmir, Ladakh, and southern Tibet. Her observations and descriptions of travel and people are colorful and astute, even if they are embedded in assumptions of another century. Other trips that she took and wrote about include into the wilds of the Rocky Mountains.
Jul 02, 2012 MA rated it liked it
A great view of Tibetan culture such that we'll not see it now. Add to that an explorer who gives great descriptions of the people, places and culture as seen through the eyes of a woman. I'll be reading her adventures in the west next.

Mar 17, 2008 Lisapete rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intrepid. That's the word that best fits this amazing, independent Victorian traveller. She explored the world, solo, with a keen eye for observation, and a warm sense of compassion for fellow humans.
Ameya Warde
This felt shorter and less interesting than most of Bird's books, but it was still a very quick and interesting-enough read about the Tibetan area of what is now mostly Jammu & Kashmir at the end of the 19th century.
Matt D
Aug 07, 2014 Matt D rated it really liked it
A very thorough accounting of travel into Tibet, though rife with the racism and ethnocentrism of the 1800s.
Apr 23, 2014 Åshild rated it really liked it
Liked it, quaint , interesting, would have loved to meet the author in person, she must have been quite a lady!
Aug 03, 2011 Janet rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
She gives good scenery, with plenty of plant names, but doesn't give a good sense of how the people lived. She's too focused on the spread of Christianity.
Jan 25, 2009 drozda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
written well before the communist take over a rich and spiritual culture Isabella Bird was an adventure in herself and her memoir is an eye opener to a way of life that is now gone from the planet.
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Isabella Lucy Bird (October 15, 1831 – October 7, 1904) was a nineteenth-century English traveller, writer, and a natural historian.

* The Englishwoman in America (1856)
* Pen and Pencil Sketches Among The Outer Hebrides (published in The Leisure Hour) (1866)
* The Hawaiian Archipelago (1875)
* The Two Atlantics (published in The Leisure Hour) (1876)
* Australia Felix: Impressions of Victori
More about Isabella L. Bird...

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