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Item #: OP2664-942
SIKHIM & BHUTAN: TWENTY-ONE YEARS ON THE NORTH-EAST FRONTIER 1887-1908 John Claude White 1971 Hardcover DJ Near Fine
By White, John Claude
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India, Vivek, 1971 reprint (1909). 348 pp, b/w photos, color foldout map. Black cloth hardcover with chipped dust jacket. Near Fine overall.

John Claude White (1853-1918), was an important figure in the history of Sikkim and Bhutan: both as the first British Political Officer and also as an explorer and photographer of great ability. This combination allowed him to write with great authority on all aspects of the region. In 1903-4 he accompanied the Younghusband Mission to Lhasa.

He summarizes his experience in the preface: 'on the outbreak of the Sikhim-Tibet War in 1888 I was sent as Assistant Political Officer with the expeditionary force, and on the conclusion of peace the following year, I was offered the post of Political Officer in administrative charge of the State of Sikhim. In 1903, when it was decided to send a Mission to Lhasa, I was appointed one of the Commissioners, and on conclusion of the Mission I was placed in charge of our political relations with Bhutan, as well as a portion of Tibet.

'My new appointment afforded me many opportunities of visiting Bhutan  and during the next twenty-one years my duties took me to almost every corner of the beautiful mountain countries of Sikhim and Bhutan. I have tried  to give a short account of these countries both geographical and historical, as well as of my personal experiences during my various tours.'

Neate notes that, "White travelled extensively in Sikkim and Bhutan. He was mainly responsible for opening up roads and bridges which made access easier for later explorers. In 1890 he crossed the Guicha La to the Talung Glacier south-east of Kanchenjunga and followed the Talung valley to the Tista, being probably the first European to investigate the gorges between Pandim and the Simvu group."

Contents: The Geographical Position and General Features of the States of Sikihim and Bhutan; The People: Their Morals, Religion, and Language; A Short History of Sikhim; Early Reminiscences; More Early Reminiscences; More Early Reminiscences; The Delhi Durbar and Visit of the Chiefs to Calcutta to meet their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Wales; Expeditions and Explorations in Sikhim; Expeditions and Explorations in Sikhim (continued) ; Expeditions and Explorations in Sikhim (continued) ; Departure from Sikhim; History of the Founding of Bhutan; My First Mission to Bhutan; My First Mission to Bhutan (continued) ; My First Mission to Bhutan (continued) ; An Exploration of Eastern Bhutan and a Portion of Tibet in 1906; An Exploration of Eastern Bhutan and a Portion of Tibet in 1906 (continued) ; My Second Mission to Bhutan; My Second Mission to Bhutan (continued) ; British Missions to Bhutan; British Relations with Bhutan from 1772; Foreign Relations with Bhutan; Arts and Industries of Sikhim and Bhutan; Appendices - I. The Laws of Bhutan - II. The Laws of Sikhim and Marriage Customs - III. A List of some of the Principal Animals and Birds to be found in these Countries, and their Habitat - IV. Descriptions of the Art Specimens Illustrated in Chaper XXIII; Index. Illustrations: J. Claude White, C. I. E. ; The Source of the Teesta River; H. H. The Maharani of Sikhim; The Residency, Gangtak; Residency Gardem, Gantak; Wallichianum Lilies in the Residency Garden; Lower Teesta Valley; Group at Hastings House, Calcutta, 1906; Kangchenjunga; Bamboo Roadway; Sanklan Sampo; Old Vestments, Talung Monastery; Siniolchu; Yaks; Upper Lonak Valley; Typical Sikhim Scenery; Nuns from the Ta-tshang Nunnery; Lonak Valley; Glacial Lake, Lonak Valley; Bridge over the Am-mo-chhu at Pema, in the Chumbi Valley; Chorten at Gorina Monastery; Paro-jong; Paro Ta-tshang Monastery; Dug-gye-jong; Poonakha-jong; Tongsa-jong; Bhutanese Houses; Lhalung Monastery; Tuwa-jong; Interior of Lhalung Monastery; Interior of Dug-gye-jong; Bridge at Shana; Paro Ta-tshang Monastery; Group at Poonakha, 1908; Oath of Allegiance signed at Poonakha at the Installation of Sir Ugyen Wang-chuk, K. C. I. E. , Maharaja of Bhutan; Impressions of Seals given to Bhutan by China, Nepal, and Tibet; Art Specimens - I; Art Specimens - II; Art Specimens - III; Art Specimens - IV; Map of Sikhim and Bhutan. "One of the first things to be done on my appointment to Sikhim was to build a house, not an easy task in a wild country where masons and carpenters where conspicuous by their absence, where stone for building had to be quarried from the hill-sides and trees cut down for timber." - p. 33.


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