WITH THE TIBETANS IN TENT & TEMPLE - Rijnhart, 1st Ed 1901 TIBET CULTURE CUSTOMS
WITH THE TIBETANS IN TENT AND TEMPLE: Narrative of Four Years' Residence on the Tibetan Border, and of a Journey into the Far Interior
Book Details + Condition: First edition from 1901 (only stated date). 406 pp + publisher's ads, with illustrations from photographs and folding map. Original blue cloth boards. In very good condition: tight binding; rubbed corners and spine ends; light shelfwear to boards; text is clean and unmarked save owner's information on front endpaper. Susanna Carson Rijnhart (1868-1908), better known as Susie Rijnhart or "Doctor Susie," was a Canadian medical doctor, Protestant missionary, and Tibetan explorer. She was the second Western woman known to have visited Tibet. She graduated from medical college in Toronto in 1888, and in 1894 married a Dutch missionary with a somewhat scandalous past. Rijnhart gives an account in this book of her four years' residence on the Tibetan border, and of a journey into the far interior of the country. She incorporates in her narrative many facts concerning the customs and social conditions of the Tibetan people. Please see below for more information on the Rijnharts and their journey.
In 1894, the Rijnharts set out for Tibet. Their 2,000-mile journey across China by houseboat and mule-cart took six months. They lived for three years at Lusar, where their evangelistic efforts had little effect, but their medical skills were much appreciated. In May 1898, the Rijnharts "set out for Lhasa with their ten-month-old son, three guides, many horses, enough food for a year, and 500 New Testaments. The trip was a nightmare from beginning to end. The Rijnharts’ baby died, they were attacked by robbers, and their guides deserted. On 26 September [her husband] spied an encampment of nomads across a river and went to seek their help. Susie never saw him again” (DCB). This book, written upon her return to Canada (where she was hailed by many as a heroic martyr), was intended to be a testament to her husband's life, but also to present a fuller and more accurate account of Tibet than those written by other travelers after much briefer visits.