The River of Golden Sand, the narrative of a journey through China and eastern Tibet to Burmah - Captain William Gill, Edward Colborne Baber, Colonel Henry Yule 1883 - John Murray, London - First Edition Thus Altogether his journey is one of the most successful and useful which has been performed in Western China’ - Baron Von Richthofen.

The abridged edition of Captain William Gill’s remarkable account of his expedition from Chengdu, China through Sichuan, along the eastern edge of Tibet via Litang, and finally to Bhamo in Burma, a region little explored by westerners before him. Travelling by train through Europe, and then by sea to Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tianjin, he reached the British legation at Peking in September 1876, before setting out on his five week journey. In 1879 Gill was awarded the Royal Geographical Society gold medal for his scientific work and maps made during this expedition. Gill describes in vivid detail the landscapes, cultures, societies, and settlements of the region, along with their political and economic systems

This edition was published after Gill’s death in 1882, and to it is added a memoir of Gill written by Henry Yule, in addition to his original Introductory essay detailing the exploratory history of the region and briefly outlining those of his friend Captain Gill. Certain portions were adjusted to bring the whole up to date, and a number of additional illustrations added, whilst the number of maps were reduced to two, including a large folding colour map of China showing Gill’s routes.
  Captain William Gill (1843-1882) was a British Army officer and explorer. Born in Bangalore, India, he was the son of army officer Major Robert Gill. A commissioned officer in the Royal Engineers, Gill inherited a fortune from a distant relative in 1871, which he used to finance his explorations of remote countries, satisfying his love of travel and gathering intelligence for the British government. Gill was murdered at the age of 39 by Bedouin tribesmen whilst gathering intelligence for the British Government, it is thought he was on his way to cut the telegraph lines between Constantinople and Alexandria when he was killed.

Sir Henry Yule, who wrote the introductory essay, decided to pursue a career in the army rather than in the law, as his father had originally intended. In 1837 he joined the East India Company's Military College, at Addiscombe, and having passed out at the head of the college in 1838, he spent a year training at the headquarters of the Royal Engineers at Chatham. In 1840 he was appointed to the Bengal Engineers. His first assignment in India was in the Kasia hills, a remote region on the north-east frontier of Bengal inhabited by people of Mongolian descent. Although the official objective of this mission (to establish means of transporting local coal to the plains) was unsuccessful, Yule's fascination with the Kasia led him to publish two accounts of the region and its people.

Provenance: L. Threlkeld with their signature dated 1922 to half-title.

References: Herbert,
Burma 44. Cambridge University Press, web. Royal Geographical Society Archive, web. Vetch, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004. The Asiatic Journal, 1825. Waller, Pundits: British Exploration of Tibet and Central Asia 2015. Abbey Travel 408 (Yule).

Octavo. pp. [4] 141 [1] 332 [6 publisher’s advertisements]. In publisher’s blue cloth, spine with gilt lettering and vignette, and front board with gilt vignette, blue-grey coated endpapers.
  Condition: Very good, light wear to corners and spine ends, foxing to endpapers, internally clean.   Ref: 108511   Price: HK$ 2,500