Sikhim & Bhutan. Twenty-One Years on the North-East Frontier 1887-1908 - John Claude White 1909 - Longmans, New York - First Edition, American Issue First edition, American issue, of one of the best informed accounts of the area ever published, in the original gilt decorated cloth, and partially unopened. Illustrated with a photogravure portrait frontispiece of the author, 40 plates (consisting of 32 halftone, six photogravures, two printed in red and black, one of which is folding), and a large folding lithographic colour map to the rear.

White is 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. He summarises 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 that portion of Tibet... My new appointment afforded me many opportunities of visiting Bhutan ... and during those twenty-one years my duties took me to almost every corner of the beautiful mountain countries of Sikhim and Bhutan... I have tried in this book 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.’
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