on 6 July 2011
This book really needs to be read along with "Journey to Lhasa" It borrows a few stories from "Journey" and despite its title doesn't lead us very far into Alexandra's personal encounters with Tibetan Lamas, Magicians and Mystics. Maybe it was the style at the time of writing but nowadays one almost expects more about the author in a travel book than the travels themselves. Here the journey is mostly a mental one through some of Tibetan Buddhisms practices and beliefs as understood in the 1920's. I think its well written and injoyable, I just wish she had written a more personal account of her many years in and around Tibet.
Largely forgotten by english readers, and perhaps never forgiven, for being french and a trespasser in British controlled Tibet, her books, travels and life deserve to be remembered in the same way that Livingstone or Marco Polo stir the imagination, and remind us of those times when the world was a big place and there was a new country to explore just over the horizon.
on 27 December 2014
This copy of The Magic and Mystery of Tibet was advertised as an the original book with dust cover, however this book is reprinted by TIME Life Books, which is not the advertised front cover and not the book I expected, I would not have paid the asking price, having known these conditions.
on 23 July 2001
This book really shows its age now. Written nearly a hundred years ago the writing style makes heavy going today. There seems to be a real lack of direction with her recounting of her travels, although it should be noted here that some explorers from the same era dispute she even entered Tibet.
I was intrigued by the books promise of an insight into the more mystical aspects of Tibet but the author fails to deliver.
There are many better books on Tibet to be had, look for something else.