Trespassers on the Roof of the World ePUB ✓ on the

Trespassers on the Roof of the World ePUB ✓ on the

  • Paperback
  • 272 pages
  • Trespassers on the Roof of the World
  • Peter Hopkirk
  • 21 August 2016
  • 9780874775761

10 thoughts on “Trespassers on the Roof of the World

  1. Daren Daren says:

    Hopkirk sets out to summarise a history of Western adventurers attempts unsuccessful ans those which succeed to reach Lhasa Commencing with Montgomerie's spies in 1865 through to the Dali Lama's departure from Lhasa to India in the wake of Chinese invasion in 1959He does so than adeuately and does a good job of determining where to spend his time and where to skip over the main points He maintains a good pace keeping the entertainment level and interest levels high throwing in cultural aspects and distant history as necessaryThis is one of Hopkirk's many books on The Great Game espionage and confrontation political and diplomatic than military between the British Empire and the Russian Empire over Central Asia Britain had fears that Russia was making dealt with Lhasa although they were not and considered it essential to get eyes inside Lhasa Their early attempts which met with some success involved training Indians as surveyors to map the routes in and avoid detection by taking on the role of Buddhist holy men With notes secreted with prayer wheels a compass hidden in a false compartment and a thermometer in the removable top of a staffAs keen as the British were to access Lhasa the Tibetan's were to keep foreigners out Execution was the punishment for attempting to enter Lhasa although this wasn't commonly carried out especially on those Westerners who were caught and there were many who were first instructed to return the way they came and when as was mostly the case it was not possible to do so usually climatic conditions and the state of their pack animals and guides they were offered assistance with a simple route out of Tibet usually to IndiaI wont spoil the fun with a list of those who tried and what the outcomes were but we may get one longer complex story in a chapter or two or even three attempts in a a chapter Either way they are all varied and interesting for what is essentially a list of people who are all trying to to the same thing and often than not ended in the same outcomeWorth a read if only to put all those attempts into a context Also referred to are a number of books written by those lucky enough to have been sent out which leads on to further reading in depth if desiredFor me four stars

  2. Bettie Bettie says:

    A brief history of Tibet where the original Gods descended by ropes from the sky and skittled back up to heaven as and when the notion appealed to them however one of the ropes became severed and that is where the race of Tibetans originatesA thousand years later Buddhism hits that bastardised form that came via India and included all manner of animistic mysteries Mixed into this was a low grade Christianity and voilá the result is Laimist religion we know todayThe main stay of this book is the surreptitious mapping of this forbidden to outsiders land during The Great Game years and the spy tactics employed by the Colonial English Army in India Some parts of the adventure encapsulated in Kim by Kipling Page 55 If the gatecrashers were determined to get in the Tibetans were eually determined to keep them out The dreadful retribution meted out to a Tibetan official who had unwittingly given assistance to one such intruder is grim proof of this insert horrid description here The gatecrasher who caused all this trouble was Sarat Chandra Das immortalised in 'Kim' as Hurree Chunder Mookerjee Annie Royle Taylor 7 October 1855 – 9 September 1922 was an English Evangelical missionary to China and the first Western woman known to have visited Tibet She attempted to reach the forbidden city of Lhasa Henry Savage Landor In 1897 he set off on his travels to explore Tibet where he was captured and suffered terrible adversities and tortures Nevertheless he discovered the sources of the Indus and the Brahmaputra Landor returned fearlessly to Tibet a second time and then to Nepal From his journeys to Tibet and Nepal come his books In the Forbidden Land 1898 and Tibet and Nepal 1905 Alexandra David Néel a Blavatsky Theosophy student FrancisYounghusband 1904 British expedition to Tibet during which a massacre of Tibetans occurredTuesday Lobsang Rampa author of The Third Eye turned out to be plain untravelled Cyril Henry Hoskin a plumber from DevonUltimately the history is just such a sad thing to contemplate; its privacy prised open by Westeners and then The Red Guards take over the country completelySpring 2013 Himahlya readsCR In the Forbidden Land4' Trespassers on the Roof of the WorldCR In the Himalayas

  3. Caroline Caroline says:

    At the beginning of the 19th century Tibet was largely unknown Hemmed in by ferociously high mountains and experiencing freezing temperatures it was not the easiest of places to explore A third factor was to play an important part too The British and Russian empires were extending their influence into central Asia creeping towards Tibet In fact Britain just wanted to form a series of buffer states or a 'cordon sanitaire' between the wealth of India and possible trouble from the north but the Tibetans were convinced that the British had designs on their goldfields They also felt that the British and Russians wanted to destroy their religion The Tibetans were passionate about their traditional religious beliefs and as a result they took these imagined threats very seriously They therefore became extremely hostile to anyone crossing their borders Their main deterrent besides the natural barriers of mountains and the cold was to order their citizens to never help foreigners entering Tibet in any way Anyone transgressing this even if it was done in absolute innocence was subject to the most horrendous and torturous punishmentsI like to think that the following waves of explorers cartographers soldiers and missionaries who entered Tibet did not know about the threat they posed to the well being of any native Tibetans they tried to barter with or fooled with their disguises The retaliation they brought down upon the heads of those who unwittingly helped them was cruel and savage beyond belief But a steady wave of people did enter Tibet and this book is all about them the people who made the attempt to breach the Himalayan mountains and reach the impossible goal of LhasaSome of the people in this book really stood out for me The PunditsThese were incredibly courageous and tough Indians sent up to Tibet from British India mainly to map what was largely uncharted territory but also to bring back any intelligence they could garner Their journeys were full of adventure and in many instances incredibly harsh and demanding The tools they used for their cartography were extraordinary as everything had to be hidden in their Tibetan disguises Not only was the Buddhist rosary ingeniously adaptedbut so were prayer wheels These were fitted with a secret catch which enabled the pundit to open the copper cylinder and insert or remove the scrolls of paper bearing his route notes and other intelligence Late the workshops at Dehra Dun were to conceal compasses inside the wheels so that a pundit could take bearings while pretending to be at prayer Large instruments like sextants were concealed in specially built false bottom in the travelling chests which native travellers carried while secret pockets were added to their clothing Thermometers for measuring altitude were concealed in hollowed out staves and mercury necessary for setting an artifical horizon when taking sextant readings was hidden in a sealed cowrie shell and poured into a pilgrim's bowl whenever neededMost extraordinary to me was that much of this mapping was done by the pundits counting their footsteps The pundit Nain Singh walked 1200 miles and counted two and a half million individual paces with the aid of his rosary Another pundit Kishen Singh was sent on a gigtantic route survey of nearly 3000 miles He counted five and a half million paces with his rosary Later cartography expeditions found their work surprisingly accurate The AdventurersHenry Savage Landor grandson of the Victorian poet had the most amazing and harrowing time in Tibet He and his two servants were lucky to escape with their lives and this was much due to Landor's almost freakish impassiveness when they were captured and tortured by hostile TibetansEkai Kawaguchi was a Japanese Buddhist monk and abbot of a monastery he entered Tibet disguised as a Chinese physician He reached Lhasa even though it took him four years and he stayed there for fourteen months He did not gain a favourable impression of the Tibetan monks describing them as lascivious ignorant cruel dirty greedy lazy and dishonest He was also not enad with the levels of dirt he found in Lhasa One of the chapters in his book is entitled A Metropolis of Filth Most of all he was horrified by the barbaric way the Tibetans punished wrongdoers and tortured suspects What I particularly liked about him was that with his simple medical knowledge he was able to help the local people and he gained a good reputation in this respect Eventually he even got to meet the Dalai Lama The SoldierIn 1902 the British were really worried about Russia's intentions towards Tibet Unable to liaise with the Tibetans through normal channels because the Tibetans refused to communicate Franchis Younghusband was sent to Tibet He went there first with 200 Indian troops but the Tibetans still refused to talk to them and later in 1903 he was sent back this time with 1000 soldiers and this time there was fighting At Guru and Karo Pass the Tibetans were defeated in spite of having much larger numbers The British went on into Lhasaand won the hearts of the peopleThey respected their holy placesThey paid for their provisionsThey had a good reputation for being merciful after the fighting at GuruYounghusband was popular and able to negotiate a strong pro British agreement with the Tibetans although later this was considerably watered down by a revision from London The book also describes the first Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1910 and their retreat in the face of revolution at home It also describes the brutal and tragic second Chinese invasion of 1950 the repercussions of which are felt to the present dayThroughout the book and in spite of the incredibly harshness of their living conditions and the savage enactment of Tibetan law the Tibetans themselves were praised for their good humour courage loyalty and stoicismIn the end I was left feeling uite ambivalent towards all those who tried enter Tibet during this period the loss of limbs and lives to both servants and animals seemed a high price to pay for the knowledge gainedGenerally I enjoyed the book except I was slightly bored by the repetitiveness of the layout descriptions of one explorer after the other I have also been spoilt I have read Heinrich Harrer's Seven Years in Tibet which is one of my all time favourite books This book complements Harrer's book well though and it's good to have learnt about the broader context of Tibet in the nineteenth and twentieth century

  4. Tim Pendry Tim Pendry says:

    Peter Hopkirk a leading British journalist wrote a series of excellent popular histories of Central Asia between 1980 and 1996 which opened up the area to the British public and re introduced them to the Great Game for control of Eurasia that continues to this dayThis volume the second of six and published in 1982 concentrates on Tibet after it closed its borders to protect its uniue culture and then became the subject of intense curiosity by Victorians with many different motives prepared to risk severe deprivation and death in order to reach LhasaThe book speaks for itself The first half is essentially a long series of individual stories some of which are basically espionage others simple adventuring and some absurd idealistic efforts to Christianise the country Each an adventure and each a good readSurveying Tibet was a military concern for the British since there was probably ill informed fears that Moscow might appear in Lhasa one day and the way south to British India be laid open The Russians themselves clearly had some interest in keeping Tibet out of British controlThroughout this time Tibet held a curious place within the Chinese Empire nominally part of it but essentially independent in all but name desperately poor and ruled by an exceptionally brutal theocratic caste operating a form of feudalism maintained through religious fearThe virtue of the book lies in the skills of Hopkirk as journalist He reports things straight without ideological overlay contemporary journalists might have learned a thing or two from him and in a way that allows us with maps to construct a strong sense of Tibet's topography The climax of the book is Younghusband's Expedition of 1903 which was a classically British reluctant invasion against an unprepared feudal army led by religious numskulls where even the invaders were horrified by the slaughter and were uick to try to save the lives of those they shotThe book loses impetus towards the very end because Younghusband effectively opened up Lhasa to British influence which the British Cabinet clearly did not entirely care about with a line of trading situations out of Sikkim that probably benefited Raj and Tibet alikeBut the British always respected Chinese suzerainty and did nothing substantial to improve the condition of the country Tibet also declined to be anything but studiously neutral in the Second World War which probably sealed its fate laterThe final chapter is a fair account of the Chinese invasion of Tibet which really has nothing to do with the main theme of the book but is a necessary coda for a readership that at time of publication was very aware of the role of Central Asia Afghanistan in the Cold WarThis brings out the modern moral problem of Tibet On the one hand the Tibet that China invaded in 1950 was recognised as within China by the international community and China was invading a regime that was only marginally less brutal feudal and poor than 100 years beforeOn the other hand anyone who believes in national self determination might recognise that the Tibetans ought to have had a right to determine their future that is if they had been anything close to a democracyHopkirk is sound in his judgements The British had withdrawn from the Raj and Nehru did not want confrontation with China The Chinese came in as 'class liberators' not without some justification but faced the fact that much of the population was dependent on the existing systemIn disrupting that system the Chinese authorities instigated rebellion and a genuine Tibetan nationalist revolt counteracted any class liberation strategy Things deteriorated from Chinese mismanagement and then brutality as Chinese investigators were later to acceptThe romance of the current Dalai Lama however should not stop us from considering that the story of Tibet is not a black and white story and no doubt the US has been dabbling as it often does with agit prop and subversion It is a complex story that needs up to date tellingAs a whole this well written book is largely about individual tales of adventure and derring do by remarkable men and some women who make our contemporaries look like wimps in terms of what they were prepared to do for whatever ends they had in mindAs so often the uniueness of the British Raj shines through Though ultimately always beholden to the British Government in London on policy it really ran itself and developed political military diplomatic and espionage systems that were 'state of the art' at the time At the other end of the book from the Chinese invasion is the remarkable story not of the incursion of lone Westerners but of the Indians who worked for British intelligence and went undercover in Tibet at great risk literally to pace out a survey of Tibet with their feet and hidden instrumentsIndeed one of the problems of the book is how to claim discovery when of course the Chinese had no problem of access and neither did say Russian Buryats or Raj Ladakhs Self evidently the book is only about those excluded by Lhasa the presumed agents of foreign imperial powersSo this book is not to be regarded as a book of 'discovery' or even exploration since the Tibetans knew their own country only too well but one of imperial incursion and cultural invasion even if the Tibetans perhaps could have done with some modern ideas for the sake of their peopleRomantics may want or have wanted Tibet to be preserved in the aspic of theocracy because of its uniue Buddhist culture but we should be clear about this that culture was obscurantist and capable of extreme cruelty and exploitationThe 'spiritual' aspects of Buddhism did not reuire thousands of parasitical lamas and many of the beliefs were and are absurd uses of human energy in obeisance to a structure of power that brought few material benefits to the population and was based largely on fear of demons and lamasWhich brings us back to modern Tibet which is in limbo modernised up to a point by China with a condition of the people improved materially but not master of its own destiny and now with large numbers of Han Chinese settlers having diluted its ethnic baseOne has no doubt that feudalism has gone for good but the structures and networks of the old families in exile no doubt stand ready to return and create a form of neo liberal Buddhism if this can be engineered by Washington so that little is resolvedOne might hope that the Tibetans themselves might be given some form of democracy free of foreign but also of theocratic influence but its geo political situation and the ambitions of elites of all stripes make this unlikely It remains subject to a zero sum game between empiresAll we can hope for is continued material improvements as the Chinese economy improves and as Eurasia becomes a unified economic zone and sufficient respect for tradition that Tibetans can feel that their identity is still theirs and can be built on for the future

  5. Jeanette (Again) Jeanette (Again) says:

    This author is an outstanding historian and an excellent storyteller His great strength is in sharing the history without including the boring details that only serious historians find interesting The book starts with an explanation of why the Tibetans historically guarded their borders and the holy city of Lhasa so carefully Then the book describes a series of expeditions large and small that crossed the borders illegally and attempted to reach Lhasa The Tibetans were fierce and vigilant and the attempts were repelled Eventually the British succeeded by using military force and established outposts in TibetThe latter part of the book details some of the early attempts to reach the summit of Mt Everest known to Tibetans as Goddess Mother of the World from within Tibet There are also some little known accounts of harrowing experiences during WWII One I found especially interesting was about a WWII plane that crashed near Lhasa in a storm Those aboard didn't even know they were in TibetThe book ends on a sad note telling of how the Chinese Red Guards took over Tibet and set about destroying all that was good or uniue about itThere's a lot of fascinating information about the old culture of Tibet in this book also They were primitive and tribal and very superstitious Not at all like the Shangri La image a lot of people have of the Forbidden Land Their traditional greeting was to stick their tongues out at each other as far as they could flat against their chins There's even a picture in the book of them doing this

  6. brian dean brian dean says:

    The book does exactly what it claims to describes the efforts of outsiders to visit Lhasa but so few of the stories have happy endings and the country of Tibet sure does not that this is not an uplifting bookI read Hopkirk's The Great Game and uest for Kim both of which literally cover similar ground The three together focus on the lure and mystery of the Himalayas and Tibet specificallyI don't know how much of Tibet the Llamas thought they ruled but the book shows there was a lot they didn't control The main difficulty of explorers trying to reach Lhasa were the bandits Criminals or not they did an excellent job of supporting Tibet's rulers in not allowing foreigners far into their countryI wrote that the stories are not uplifting but they sure are examples of dedication and perseverance The men and women who attempted to reach Lhasa faced great challenges and overcame many And even when they failed in their ultimate goal they still managed to supply the outside world with maps and biological specimens never before known

  7. Sophie Schiller Sophie Schiller says:

    There are no other words to describe this book other than it is a treasure trove of knowledge regarding Central AsianTibetan exploration After reading it you will come away with a better understanding of Tibetan culture and beliefs but also the fears anxieties and stress the Tibetans have been under for centuries to maintain their distinct culture and way of life and the players who risked their lives to break down the walls of Tibetan instransigence Anyone planning to embark on a journey to Tibet either physically or scholarly must read this book Mr Hopkirk treats the subject with the respect and dignity it deserves especially with regard to honoring the memory of those who made the self sacrificing journey to the roof of the world

  8. Philip Philip says:

    First Hopkirk book I ever read and got me hooked on his whole series of Central Asian histories Fascinating in that they are all character driven and there's no interesting cast of characters than all those 19th and early 20th century British explorers

  9. Anita Edwards Anita Edwards says:

    A series of short stories chronicling all the attempts by Westerners to enter Tibet and the forbidden city of Lhasa from the mid nineteenth century through the mid twentieth centuryThe cast of characters range from interesting to charming baffling to insensitive timid to brutal but all including the Chinese and Tibetans with an unwavering ethnocentrism While the book merely tells the stories it's hard not ask bigger uestionsWhy the desperate need to map Tibet when the mappers would never be allowed in and therefore never be able to use the maps they madeat the cost of many lives?Is curiosity any or less of a justification for trespassing in another culture than racial religious and cultural prejudice is for excluding a class of visitors? Tibet wasn't forbidden to everyone the Chinese and Indians always had access Buddhists on pilgrimage from outside of Tibet were routinely admittedBut it would be disingenuous for me to say I didn't think Tibetans had good reason to think the West was out to reform their religion their medieval government or that racial prejudice and arrogance wasn't a big part of the motivation to exploreTragically despite all the energy and lives Tibetans spent on keeping them outit wasn't ultimately Westerners who ravaged Tibet and Tibetan culture It was Maoist China and the Red GuardWhile it doesn't take a position this book is weighing on my mind as I am scheduled to go to Lhasa in a little over a week It hasn't escaped my notice that it is the Chinese who are giving me a visa to enter Tibet not the Tibetans I admit curiosity about this place these people and the Potala Palace are prime motivators for going Still I wonder if a Tibetan were allowed to state hisher opinion if they wouldn't say tourism is just the latest kind of invasion and I am just another trespasser on the roof of the world

  10. Ted Ted says:

    Not exciting enough to be a good adventure book nor compelling enough to be a satisfying history this is nonetheless a decent read due to both the author's solid writing and the intriguing subject It becomes uite repetitive however as explorer after explorer gets turned away before reaching Lhasa It feels like he included some stories for the sake of completeness rather than for their drama I did like the book enough that I may try some of Hopkirk's histories of Central Asia

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Trespassers on the Roof of the World☀ Trespassers on the Roof of the World PDF / Epub ✍ Author Peter Hopkirk – No other land has captured man's imagination uite like Tibet Hidden away behind the Himalayas ruled over by a god like king it has long been the stuff of travelers' dreams Peter Hopkirk tells of the f No other land has the Roof Epub Ý captured man's imagination uite like Tibet Hidden away behind the Himalayas ruled over by a god like king it has long been the stuff of travelers' dreams Peter Hopkirk tells of the forcible opening up of this medieval land during the th and th centuriesThe tale has a cast Trespassers on eBook Æ of secret agents and soldiers explorers and missionaries mystics and mountaineers intruders determined to snatch from the Tibetans the secret of their contentment The story ends with the Chinese invasion in So it was that the long suffering Tibetans finally lost their freedom to the last of the many trespassersA marvelous book well on the Roof PDF/EPUB é researched and written a treat for armchair explorers everywhere New Statesmen.

About the Author: Peter Hopkirk

Peter Hopkirk was born the Roof Epub Ý in Nottingham the son of Frank Stewart Hopkirk a prison chaplain and Mary Perkins He grew up at Danbury Essex notable for the historic palace of the Bishop of Rochester Hopkirk was educated at the Dragon School in Oxford The family hailed originally from the borders of Scotland in Trespassers on eBook Æ Roxburghshire where there was a rich history of barbaric raids and reivers hanging just.