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TURNER (Captain Samuel). An Account of an Embassy to the Court of the Teshoo Lama, in Tibet; Containing a Narrative of a Journey through Bootan, and part of Tibet. To which is added, views taken on the spot, by Lieutenant Samuel Davis; and observations botanical, mineralogical, and medical, by Mr. Robert Saunders.1800

London: Printed by William Bulmer and Co., First edition, 4to (295 x 230 mm), xxviii, 474pp., large engraved folding map, 13 engraved plates (offset), occasional spotting, marbled endpapers, full cont. calf, boards with triple gilt filet border, five raised bands ruled in gilt, title lettered direct, a very nice copy indeed. In 1783, at the opportunity presented by a new Panchen (or Teshoo) Lama, Bengal governor-general Warren Hastings sent a deputation to Tibet and Bhutan in the hope of promoting British-Indian trade across the Himalayas. Samuel Turner (1759–1802), an army officer in the East India Company, was appointed leader of the mission. His journal, offering first-hand descriptions of these countries, remained the only such English-language work for more than half a century. Assisted by the botanist and surgeon Robert Saunders and the surveyor and illustrator Samuel Davis, Turner interweaves geographical and scientific observations with descriptions of social and religious customs; the vivid account of his reception by the infant Panchen Lama is of particular note. The introduction sketches the history of Bengal–Bhutan relations and George Bogle's prior mission, while later sections deal with Tibet and the influence of China. This was and remains an invaluable account of eighteenth-century diplomacy. Yakushi, T277a; Cox I, p. 346.

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