- Paperback: 404 pages
- Publisher: Kessinger Publishing (15 Sept. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1120144957
- ISBN-13: 978-1120144959
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.1 x 22.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
Among the Mongols (1883) Paperback – 15 Sep 2009
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His book aims, he says, to present “whatever is most noteworthy and interesting in the home life, manners and customs, occupations and surroundings, modes of thought, superstitions and religious beliefs and practices of the Mongol tribes who inhabit the eastern portion of the plateau of Central Asia lying between Siberia to the north and China on the south”. This he does admirably, covering topics as varied as tent life ; the relative merits of horses, camels, and ox carts as modes of travel ; Mongol food ; wedding traditions ; justice ; dress and medicine. Gilmour also compares and contrasts Christianity with Mongolian Buddhism, with – as he is a Christian missionary - predictable conclusions. However, his analysis is interesting.
Although he does not mention much about “China proper”, his close observation of a race that is now an important ethnic minority in the country is a useful contrast to other more traditional missionary texts.
Take care when buying modern reprints of this kind - make sure you get one that is a proper full facsimile, not just an OCR copy.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The prefatory note to the 1888 edition offers a helpful overview of the book.
Quote: "In its original form this book had a large circulation, and excited an unusual amount of interest. It was felt that the writer was a man of fervent missionary enthusiasm; it was evident also that he was a man of strong and decided views, fully equal to the task of making those views clear to the mind if the reader.
But Mr. Gilmour possesses also a very marked literary style. In fact the reviewer of the book in the Spectator went so far as to compare it to the writing of Daniel Defoe, and to say: `The newness and value of the book consist solely in its Defoe quality, that when you have read it you know, and will never forget all Mr. Gilmour knows and tells of how Mongols live.'"