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The High Road To China - Bookhero
The High Road To China - Bookhero

The High Road To China

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In 1774 the head of the East India Company in Bengal, Warren Hastings, was determined to open trade relations with the hitherto impenetrable court of imperial China. To this end he entrusted the young Scotsman George Bogle to be the first British envoy to Tibet; once there, Bogle attempted to enlist the influence of the Panchen Lama in a bid to attract the sympathy of the Qianlong Emperor. A hard task, for the imperial court generally viewed trade with disdain, and took an altogether dim view of the British Empire as a whole. But what began as an unprecedented diplomatic mission soon acquired a different character. Bogle, who was the first Briton to visit Tibet, was smitten by what he saw, and in particular the person of the Panchen Lama himself, with whom he struck up a remarkable friendship, fuelled by a reciprocated desire to educate and learn from one another. And as for Tibet- 'When I look upon the time I have spent among the Hills it appears like a fairy dream'. Bogle's letters and journals, by turns playful, penetrating, self-deprecating and packed with engaging detail, were to help create the myth of Tibet in the West, the Shangri-La so familiar to us today. This book tells the story of the British attempt to reach the Quianlong Emperor's ear, a narrative of two extraordinary journeys across some of the harshest and highest terrain in the world- Bogle's mission, and the Panchen Lama's state visit to China, on which British hopes were hung. Piecing together the narrative from Bogle's private papers, from the accounts produced by Tibetan and Hindu monks, and the writings of the Qianlong Emperor himself, Kate Teltscher deftly reconstructs the momentous meeting of four very different worlds.
Author: Kate Teltscher
ISBN: 9780747586210
Format: Paperback
Pages: 316
Dimensions: 25 x 240