And this plan of mine is a direct result of Peter Hopkirk and his amazing books about adventures in central Asia. How much would have been destroyed by Islamists or Red Guards? In between these mountains is the Takla Makan Desert, an extremely dry area much more so than the Gobi, apparently. It was an arrogant, thoughtless impulse which led the museum to set the finest and largest of the works into the walls of the museum with concrete, for it meant that they could never be returned to China and that, completely immobilised, they could not be moved to safety when in 1943 they were again threatened by war. Storia ricca di azione, misteri, agenti segreti e surreale comicità. In short, were the Foreign Devils saviours or criminals? At ThriftBooks, our motto is: Read More, Spend Less. In typical Peter Hopkirk fashion, the book is written in a easy-to-follow and straightforward manner.
The book was first published in 1980. The Silk Road, which linked imperial Rome and distant China, was once the greatest thoroughfare on earth. I don't intend to let this stop me, however; the first item on my bucket list is a trek along the Silk Road, from start to finish. The area they searched is near the border of China meets the borders of India, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakstan. The collections of these explorers became controversial. Hopkirk's style is engaging and forceful. Petersburg and Stockholm before too long.
To me, this one is no exception. The Silk Road, which linked imperial Rome and distant China, was once the greatest thoroughfare on earth. He sought a life in dangerous situations as a journalist, being sent to Algeria to cover the revolutionary crisis in the French colonial administration. The significance of this area is that it preserved writing and artifacts of a variety of religions, principally Buddhism but also Nestorian Christians and Manicheasm, whose early history has not survived elsewhere. In the early years of the last century foreign explorers began to investigate these legends, and very soon an international race began for the art treasures of the Silk Road. The most important explorers were the Swedish Sven Hedin, the British subject of Hungarian descent Aurel Stein, the German Albert von Le Coq he was descended from French Hugeunots who settled in Germany, hence the French name , Paul Pelliot of France, the agents of the Japanese Count Kozui Otani, and the American Langdon Warner.
Aurel Stein quickly realised that Abbot Wang could not simply be bribed, but had to be courted first before he would allow access to the scrolls. All in all, the account is, imho, too westerncentric. Huge wall paintings, sculptures, and priceless manuscripts were carried away by the ton nd are today scattered through the museums of a dozen countries. This fascinating but now probably somewhat dated work feeds into my growing fixations with the twin areas of exploration writing and of the Silk Roads and Central Asia. Huge wall paintings, sculptures, and priceless manuscripts were carried away by the ton nd are today scattered through the museums of a dozen countries. This outstanding writer serves up another tour de force about historic goings-on in the ruins of oases along the old Silk Road in western China. He could write about dishwater and I would be enthralled.
The Chinese of course have legitimate claims that these men pilfered items from their backyard. In time it began to decline. The time frame is also typical of the author: approximately 1895 to 1920s. That was the diagnosis of the famed German archaeologist Albert Von Le Coq upon discovering the remains of a Buddhist monk wrapped in blood-stained robes at the ancient west-Chinese site of Karakhoja. And so Foreign Devils on the Silk Road, as an account of several archaeological expeditions, tells not one timeless story but bits and pieces of a hundred. In the early years of this century, foreign explorersbegan to investigate these legends, and very soon an international race began for the art treasures of the Silk Road.
He also presents the reader with the conundrum that is one of, leave the stuff to rot and ruin or cart it off to foreign museum collections. Spies Along the Silk Road15. Along it traveled precious cargoes of silk, gold, and ivory, as well as revolutionary new ideas. From our modern standpoint, it is easy to say that the Europeans had no right to take these treasures of Buddhist civilization. But legends grew of lost cities filled with treasures and guarded by demons. Secrets of a Chinese Rubbish Dump12.
Following an official Indian Government report in 1875 describing the treasures of these lost ruins, a race to excavate began from all corners of the world. Peter Hopkirk tells the story of the intrepid men who, at great personal risk, led these long-range archaeological raids, incurring the undying wrath of the Chinese. England, Russia, Germany, Japan, France and the U. A consistent theme in archaeology is uncertainty; even the experts will never know the whole story and may never even find more clues beyond the initial discovery. Literally thousands of artefacts were discovered by these intrepid individuals and mostly removed to museums in the west, notably but not exclusively to London, St Petersburg and Berlin. Of persecuted religions on the run. But Hopkirk doesn't neglect the moral issues: the vast majority of the items removed belong - spiritually at least - to China.
The 'hook' that really grabbed me early in the story was about Hellenistic artistic influences combining with that of the more traditional art of the region i. Had scholars such as Stein and Pelliot not removed them, most of these treasures would most likely have been destroyed, looted, or vandalized and otherwise lost forever. I've just read his Foreign Devils on the Silk Road, which is also about European competition in Central Asia, but instead of political control as the focus, it is Buddhist art. This book is a favorite, and I am so saddened to see it end. Hopkirk tells the enchanting story of how the two Aurel Stein and Abbot Wang developed a rapport over their mutual veneration of the Buddhist pilgrim Hsuan-tsang, and on the basis of this relationship the little Chinese monk allowed himself to be persuaded, bit-by-bit to allow Aurel Stein to study, and carry away to London for translation, hundreds of scrolls. The stories of the extreme hardships that accompanied these expeditions are gripping, often awe-inducing.
About Us World of Books Australia sells quality used books at competitive prices to over 3 million customers worldwide each year. Minor edge wear to wrappers. The Russians, who were closest to the area, made a smaller impression in archaeology. Their stories and rivalries were very interesting to read. In addition, some of these expeditions sawed large frescoes out of temple walls and took them away for analysis and display--a practice that was as controversial then, at least among certain scholars, as it would be in the following decades. We started to sell on the internet in 1998. Delivery The average shipping times for our orders are as follows: Australia 7-12 Days If for some reason your order has not arrived within 14 days please get in contact with us so that we can help you.
In a way I think Foreign Devils even managed to make it more realistic seeming than the people who actually experienced did in writing their own books relating their travels. The traffic slowed, the merchants left and finally its towns vanished beneath the desert sands to be forgotten for a thousand years. . I absolutely love his style, a mixture of ripping yarn and high adventure. University of Massachusetts Press, 1984.