Trans-Himalaya, Vol. 1 (of 2) (Illustrated)

Trans-Himalaya, Vol. 1 (of 2) (Illustrated)

by Sven Anders Hedin

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In the first place I desire to pay homage to the memory of my patron, King Oskar of Sweden, by a few words of gratitude. The late King showed as warm and intelligent an interest in my plan for a new expedition as he had on former occasions, and assisted in the fulfilment of my project with much increased liberality.

I estimated the cost of the journey at 80,000 kronor (about £4400), and this sum was subscribed within a week by my old friend Emmanuel Nobel, and my patrons, Frederik Löwenadler, Oscar Ekman, Robert Dickson, William Olsson, and Henry Ruffer, banker in London. I cannot adequately express my thanks to these gentlemen. In consequence of the political difficulties I encountered in India, which forced me to make wide detours, the expenses were increased by about 50,000 kronor (£2800), but this sum I was able to draw from my own resources.

As on former occasions, I have this time also to thank Dr. Nils Ekholm for his great kindness in working out the absolute heights. The three lithographic maps have been compiled from my original sheets with painstaking care by Lieutenant C. J. Otto Kjellström, who devoted all his furlough to this troublesome work. The astronomical points, nearly one hundred, have been calculated by the Assistant Roth of the Stockholm Observatory; a few points, which appeared doubtful, were omitted in drawing the route on the map, which is based on points previously determined. The map illustrating my narrative in the Geographical Journal, April 1909, I drew roughly from memory without consulting the original sheets, for I had no time to spare; the errors which naturally crept in have been corrected on the new maps, but I wish to state here the cause of the discrepancy. The final maps, which I hope to publish in a voluminous scientific work, will be distinguished by still greater accuracy and detail.

I claim not the slightest artistic merit for my drawings, and my water-colours are extremely defective both in drawing and colouring. One of the pictures, the lama opening the door of the mausoleum, I left unfinished in my haste; it has been thrown in with the others, with the wall-paintings and shading incomplete. To criticize these slight attempts as works of art would be like wasting gunpowder on dead crows. For the sake of variety several illustrations have been drawn by the British artists De Haenen and T. Macfarlane, but it must not be assumed that these are fanciful productions. Every one of them is based on outline drawings by myself, a number of photographs, and a full description of the scene. De Haenen’s illustrations appeared in the London Graphic, and were ordered when I was still in India. Macfarlane’s drawings were executed this summer, and I was able to inspect his designs and approve of them before they were worked up.

As to the text, I have endeavoured to depict the events of the journey as far as the limited space permitted, but I have also imprudently allowed myself to touch on subjects with which I am not at all familiar—I allude in particular to Lamaism. It has been unfortunate that I had to write the whole book in 107 days, during which many hours were taken up with work connected with the maps and illustrations and by an extensive correspondence with foreign publishers, especially Albert Brockhaus of Leipzig, who never wearied in giving me excellent advice. The whole work has been hurried, and the book from beginning to end is like a vessel which ventures out into the ocean of the world’s tumult and of criticism with many leaks and cracks.

My thanks are also due to my father, who made a clean copy from my illegible manuscript; and to my mother, who has saved me from many mistakes. Dr. Carl Forstrand has revised both the manuscript and the proof-sheets, and has compiled the Swedish index.

The seven and thirty Asiatics who followed me faithfully through Tibet, and contributed in no small degree to the successful issue and results of the expedition, have had the honour of receiving from His Majesty the King of Sweden gold and silver medals bearing the portrait of the King, a crown, and an inscription. I humbly beg His Majesty to accept my warmest and most sincere thanks for his great generosity.

The book is dedicated to Lord Minto, as a slight testimony of my gratitude for all his kindness and hospitality. It had been Lord Minto’s intention to further my plans as Lord Curzon would have done if he had still been Viceroy of India, but political considerations prevented him. When, however, I was actually in Tibet, the Viceroy was free to use his influence with the Tashi Lama, and the consequence was that many doors in the forbidden land, formerly tightly closed, were opened to me.

Dear reminiscences of India hovered about my lonesome years in dreary Tibet like the pleasant rustling of palm leaves.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940148787396
Publisher: Lost Leaf Publications
Publication date: 10/24/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 1,156,163
File size: 12 MB
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