An illustrated account of the life of the female explorer.
From the Author
This is the biography of the intrepid explorer of Tibet.
Alexandra David-Neel, prolific author, inveterate explorer and traveler, pioneer feminist, and authority on Tibetan Buddhism, was called by Lawrence Durrell, "the most astonishing woman of our time." She was the first European to penetrate Tibet on the level of its learned hermits, nomads, and brigands, and the first foreign woman to enter its forbidden capital. She made her famous journey to Lhasa over the Trans-Himalayas in midwinter, disguised as a beggar, ignoring alike hunger, cold, bandits, and the threats of British imperial officials. Few have led a life of adventure equal to hers, or made so much of it. The New York Times called "Forbidden Journey," an earlier bestselling book on David-Neel by the Fosters, "a great human life, very well written up." Harpers Bazaar called it, "the fascinating account of the life and exploits of the brilliant 20th century Frenchwoman." Now, with a fresh outlook and discoveries made in the secret files of the India Office, and interviews with those who knew David-Neel and Tibet before the occupation, the authors revisit their subject. They reveal rare information about the mystical practices of Himalayan shamans, many of which were mastered by David-Neel--including out-of-body travel, mental telepathy, and the self-generation of heat. The result is a vividly detailed chronicle of a heroic womans quest to conquer her personal demons and of the journey that made her a celebrated figure. This compelling narration of David-Neels adventures, her doomed love affair with the dashing maharaja of Sikkim, and above all her attachment to the land and people of Tibet, which lasted nearly her entire101 years, recreates a tumultuous era, a gigantic landscape, and the life of a woman who followed her hearts desire. As National Geographic wrote, "She defied East and West in her quest to explore a forbidden land." Admirers of Alexandra David-Neel and her writings have included scholars and diplomats, Jacqueline Onassis, Barbara Walters, Senator Patrick Moynihan, and members of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee. Here are a few additional endorsements for The Secret Lives of Alexandra David Neel:-- "She was an extraordinary person who in her solitary ramblings accomplished more than many an organized exploring expedition in that part of the world."-- George Schaller, author of The Last Panda and Tibets Hidden Wilderness.-- "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, Britains last diplomat in Tibet and author of A Cultural History of Tibet.-- "An important and well-researched account of the life of one of the worlds outstanding explorers, travelers, and Buddhist scholars."--Arlene Blum, author of Annapurna: A Womans Place.-- "Blakean imagery in Alexandra David-Neels Magic and Mystery in Tibet magnetized me toward Buddhist meditation half a lifetime ago. Now her own vast sacred life record is happily accessible to her lineage descendents."--Allen Ginsberg-- "Alexandra David-Neel was an enthusiastic Buddhist and the first to introduce the real Tibet to the West."--H.H. The Dalai Lama.