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Item #: OP11B-285
HIMALAYAN JOURNALS: NOTES OF A NATURALIST IN BENGAL, THE SIKKIM, AND NEPAL HIMALAYAS, THE KHASIA MOUNTAINS, ETC Two Volumes Joseph Dalton Hooker 1974 Hardcover No DJ Very Good
By Hooker, Joseph Dalton
Price: $99.00


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New Delhi, Today & Tomorrow's, 1974, 2nd Indian reprint. Two volumes: 363 pp and 353 pp, many b/w illustrations from woodcuts. Green cloth hardcover with no dust jacket. Very Good.

A very good copy of an Indian facsimile in one volume. [Neate H108: Hooker was the first to make an almost complete circuit of Kangchenjunga in the years 1848-50: a classic of early Himalayan travel and exploration].
 
One of the most important classics of early Himalayan exploration. Hooker was a botanist, and the first westerner to explore much of Sikkim and make a nearly complete circuit of Kanchenjunga from 1848-50. He was a friends of Darwin (the book is dedictaed to him) and the first westerner to collect plants in the Himalaya. This book was heavily relied on by future explorers and mountaineers.
 
Sir Joseph Hooker traversed the Central and Eastern Himalayas in 1848, a time when no traveller or naturalist, however bedazzled by its mystique, has ventured forth. Even today, more than a hundred years later, there is dearth of literature on the region. Mindful and adventursome, the author paid acute attention to detail. The journals are much more that exhaustive notes of botanical interest, they are packed with appealing anecdotes and significant sociological insights, all sprinkled with a pinch of humour.

Wikipedia: Joseph Dalton Hooker

Himalayan expedition: On November 11, 1847 Hooker left England for his 3 year long Himalayan expedition; he would be the first European to collect plants in the Himalaya. He r eceived free passage on HMS Sidon, to the Nile and then travelled overland to Suez where he boarded a ship to India. He arrived in Calcutta on January 12, 1848, then travelled by elephant to Mirzapur, up the Ganges by boat to Siliguri and overland by pony to Darjeeling, arriving on April 16, 1848.

Hooker's expedition was based in Darjeeling where he stayed with naturalist Brian Houghton Hodgson. Through Hodgson he met British East India Company representative Archibald Campbell who negotiated Hooker's admission to Sikkim,which was finally approved in 1849. He was briefly taken prisoner bythe Raja of Sikkim. Meanwhile, Hooker wrote to Darwin relaying to him the habits of animals in India, and collected plants in Bengal. He explored with local resident Charles Barnes, the travelled along the Great Runjeet river to its junction with the Tista River and Tonglu mountain in the Singalila range on the border with Nepal.

Hooker and a sizable party of local assistants departed for eastern Nepal on October 27, 1848. They travelled to Zongri, west over the spurs of Kangchenjunga, and north west along Nepal's passes into Tibet. In April 1849 he planned a longer expedition into Sikkim. Leaving on May 3rd, he travelled north west up the Lachen Valley to the Kongra Lama Pass and then to the Lachoong Pass. Campbell and Hooker were imprisoned by the Dewan of Sikkim when they were travelling towards the Chola Pass in Tibet. A British team was sent to negotiate with the king of Sikkim. However, they were released without any bloodshed and Hooker returned to Darjeeling where he spent January and February of 1850 writing his journals, replacing specimens lost during hisdetention and planning a journey for his last year in India.

Reluctant to return to Sikkim, and unenthusiastic about travelling in Bhutan, he chose to make his last Himalayan expedition to Sylhet and the Khasi Hills in Assam. He was accompanied by Thomas Thompson, a fellow student from Glasgow University. They left Darjeeling on May 1 1850, then sailed to the Bay of Bengal and travelled overland by elephant to the Khasi Hills and established a headquarters for their studies in Churra where they stayed until December 9, when they began their trip back to England.

Hooker's survey of hitherto unexplored regions, the Himalayan Journals, dedicated to Charles Darwin, was published by in 1854.

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