Tibetan Trek - with - Salween - Ronald Kaulback 1934 - Hodder & Stoughton, London - First Edition, Second State (paper jacket) ‘An explorer in the old-fashioned mould of buccaneering Englishmen who roamed the blank spaces of the map’ – The Times.

Two first editions of Kaulback’s acclaimed accounts of travel and adventure in Tibet.

‘Ronald Kaulback came down from Cambridge having skilfully avoided reading too many books, or attending too many lectures. He had no very clear idea of what he wanted to do in life, and so tagged on to an expedition led by F. Kingdom-Ward whose introduction to
Tibetan Trek is a wonderful introduction to Kaulback himself’.

Kaulback followed this with an eighteen months' expedition in south eastern Tibet searching for the source of the Salween, the black river of Tibet. With one other Englishman and three faithful (and quite enchanting) natives and a good stock of supplies, he collected specimens of insect life, distributed medical care to the very friendly residents and gives a record of their daily progress. Across 3,000 miles of unexplored territory, there were many oddities to be seen, minor discomforts rather than major calamities, to be endured, and plenty of good anecdotes, which he describes in
Salween.

Both works profusely illustrated with black and white photographs and numerous maps. Both in their rare bright illustrated dust jackets.
  ‘Ronald Kaulback organised and led expeditions in the 1930s to chart the wildernesses of Tibet. Cartography was at best a painstaking process in those days and though direction could be accurately monitored, distance could only be estimated by guessing the speed of travel – a hard task in a terrain where mountains towered as high as 22,000 ft and yaks and pack-mules were recalcitrant. But Kaulback was resolute, and during three expeditions he mapped more than 25,000 square miles of the country as well as collecting a medley of rare biological specimens for London's Natural History Museum.

During the Second World War, Lieutenant-Colonel Kaulback led an intelligence party working behind the Japanese lines in the Lashio area of Burma. The 13,000 Karen warriors under his command were excellent junglemen and when the Japanese 14th Army began its offensive in 1944 they turned their skills to guerrilla warfare. Kaulback instructed them to bring back the left ear of each enemy killed, rewarding them for each one with five rounds of ammunition. At the final count more than 13,500 Japanese soldiers had been liquidated, though news of VJ-Day took so long to reach Kaulback in the jungle that he and his men were still fighting nearly two months after peace had been declared. In recognition of his outstanding war record, Kaulback was appointed OBE in 1946. But, like Lawrence of Arabia, he was always to feel pained by the treachery which he felt had been shown to the Karen tribesmen, left after the war in the hands of the Burmese.’ - Obituary,
The Times 1995.

Tibetan Trek provenance: from the library of Max Salomon, with his bookplate affixed to front pastedown.

pp.
Tibetan Trek - [4] ix [1] 11-300 In publisher’s second state binding of light blue cloth, lettered in dark blue to spine and front panel (first state was black cloth, lettered in gilt) with second state dust jacket of paper with red printed on pale blue background and with publisher’s catalogue to the rear (first state was printed on cloth, with red printed on a yellow background, and no publisher’s catalogue to the rear); Salween - xi [1] 331 [1] In publisher’s original black cloth with gilt lettering to spine, in first state cloth dust jacket with blue and black printed on ivory background;
  Condition: Very good, minor edgewear, soiling and rubbing to boards, light foxing, in very good price-clipped jackets. Tibetan Trek – ink name to front free endpaper, jacket with tape repair to verso, moderate wear and rubbing to extremities, 3 cm closed tear to top of rear panel, toning to spine. Salween – small bookseller’s stamp to front pastedown, jacket with light overall soiling, minor wear to corners and toning to edges.   Ref: 106908   Price: HK$ 6,000