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Sir Francis Younghusband was the last of the great imperialists—a dashing adventurer, who in 1903 single-handedly invaded Tibet, wiped out its entire army, and then became a mystic. Admired by H.G Wells and Bertrand Russell, he launched early assaults on Mt. Everest, held the world record for the 300-yard dash, was the first European since Marco Polo to travel from PekingSir Francis Younghusband was the last of the great imperialists—a dashing adventurer, who in 1903 single-handedly invaded Tibet, wiped out its entire army, and then became a mystic. Admired by H.G Wells and Bertrand Russell, he launched early assaults on Mt. Everest, held the world record for the 300-yard dash, was the first European since Marco Polo to travel from Peking to Central Asia, discovered the source of the Indus, and, as a spy, his presumed death nearly sparked an Indo-Russian war. The quest to discover this man led Patrick French from the Himalayas to Kashmir and into Tibet in search of clues....

Title : Younghusband: The Last Great Imperial Adventurer
Author :
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ISBN : 9780006376019
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 480 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Younghusband: The Last Great Imperial Adventurer Reviews

  • Patrick Dean
    2018-11-13 01:41

    Not many historical figures counted both Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India, and Bertrand Russell as good friends. Francis Younghusband made a name for himself on Victoria's imperial frontier, then had a second act as writer and organizer on spiritual and religious issues. He did an about-face and fully supported India's independence after years of paternalistic writings and actions.This works best as social history, covering the late 19th to mid 20th centuries and roaming from Imperial India to the attempts to summit Everest in the 1920s, from the first glimpses by Westerners of Lhasa, Tibet, to the invention of the hymn "Jerusalem" as a patriotic soundtrack to World War I.

  • Stephen
    2018-11-23 22:39

    French mixes his own personal journey to Younghusband's stamping ground with history. So far, a gripping yarn.... But I didn't finish it. Despite Patrick French's wonderfully engaging writing, in the end I wondered why the hell I was reading something about a fervent, misguided, egotistical imperiaist. I couldn't answer this question and stopped reading.

  • Jenny
    2018-12-04 23:20

    Love the subject. Author did a great job. Wasn't the all time best book ever, but I couldnt have enjoyed it more.

  • Nick Bradshaw
    2018-11-13 19:38

    Perhaps a little unfair on the author with 3 stars, as the main reason my interest drifted was Younghusband himself. I just found his travels and the account of the Tibet invasion more interesting than his later life. All in all a good read and i liked how French allowed the narrative to move between the biography and his own research.

  • John Scaife
    2018-11-21 17:40

    Excellent biography of a fascinating character who veered from professional Englishman abroad who believed that the Empire should never stop expanding, to proto-hippy and religious mystic and back again in a largely futile search for fulfilment.

  • George Ilsley
    2018-11-23 22:37

    Born near the Himalayas, the child of empire, Younghusband led a fascinating life. It is little known how British politics played a role in betraying the sovereignty of Tibet, but Younghusband's invasion of Tibet in 1903 should be known for its brutality. In fact the slaughter of Tibetans using Maxim guns foreshadowed the industrial scale slaughter on the battlefields of World War I. Younghusband's foray into Tibet seems to have touched him, however, perhaps awakening a spiritual side. A story which needs to be read to be believed.

  • Philip
    2018-12-03 17:35

    Even ten years on, this book still lives up to its original rave reviews. This will certainly be the definitive biography of one of the 19th century's greatest - and least remembered today - adventurers. Previous books on Younghusband focused on his physical adventures - rightfully so, as they remain the true accomplishments of his life, and are as amazing today as they were at the time (crossing China from Manchuria to India - including the then-unexplored Gobi Desert - virtually by himself, and at the ripe old age of 24!). But French takes the more difficult path of tackling the whole life, including the much more complex second "metaphysical" act, and generally does a good job making even the relatively dull stretches come alive. Overall the book does a better job of humanizing Younghusband than has been tackled before - both pro (Seaver) and con (Verrier) - and while this includes sometimes voyeuristic details of his unhappy marriage and slide into far-left-field eccentricity (even by British standards); it paints a complex, three dimensional portrait that - to me at least - only makes his achievements that much greater. (And yes, as the facts really speak for themselves, French could have downplayed his own 21st century opinions at times - doing away with the unnecessary and at times unsupported commentary on Younghusband's "fantasies," "instability," etc. - again, we're generally talking Victorian England here - who wasn't a little crazy?)I've been a fan of Younghusband since first discovering him in Bayonets to Lhasa some thirty years ago, and so thought I knew him pretty well. But thanks to French's literary sleuthing this book offered a wealth of new information. And the name-dropping of those Sir Francis knew and befriended in his various roles: all the expected Great Gamers of course; but also Sven Hedin, Aurel Stein, Howard Carter, George Mallory; Lindbergh, Gandhi, Churchill, Rhodes; Verne, Russell, Kipling, J.M. Barrie, H.G. Wells, A.C. Doyle, G.B. Shaw - what a time, what a life!

  • Adam Morris
    2018-12-02 19:33

    Really more like 3 1/2 stars. A fine biography of this adventurer turned philosopher. Initially I was hoping for more adventure stories though about halfway through the book the exploration of the physical world ends and we learn more about his feeling on the spiritual or at least the ephemeral. I also found the author's personal accounts of his following on the footsteps of Younghusband distracting at first but then began to enjoy them as the author intended; to make the subject more accessible yet also more remote.

  • John
    2018-11-29 00:33

    Never going to finish this. Younghusband was a fascinating man in interesting times. Patrick French, however, is not. And given that he devotes a goodly half of the book to his own adventurous followings of Younghusband, the balance for my interest is, in technical parlance, all out of whack.

  • Bob Peru
    2018-12-02 20:31

    great book. dude who wrote it kind of followed younghusband ("bloody rum name, that") all over asia and europe. he (the author, patrick french) is coming out with a new joint on v.s. naipaul. which i will read as i am now a fan of patrick french and a big fan of naipaul.

  • Nobby
    2018-11-17 22:37

    That they don't make 'em like that any more.

  • Nick Pengelley
    2018-11-22 17:24

    Brilliantly written book about an incredible man.

  • Ryan Murdock
    2018-12-05 23:15

    I thoroughly enjoyed this well written biography of the Central Asian explorer and Great Game legend Sir Francis Younghusband. Definitely worth a read.