Diana Lange's patient investigations have, in this wonderful piece of detective work, solved the mysteries of six extraordinary maps of routes across Tibet, clearly hand-drawn in the late 1850s by a local artist, known as the British Library's Wise Collection. Diana Lange now reveals not only the previously unknown identity of the Scottish colonial official who commissioned the maps from a Tibetan Buddhist lama, but also the story of how the Wise Collection came to be in the British Library. The result is both a spectacular illustrated ethnographic atlas and a unique compendium of knowledge concerning the mid-19th century Tibetan world, as well as a remarkable account of an academic journey of discovery. It will entertain and inform anyone with an interest in this fascinating region. This large format book is lavishly illustrated in colour and includes four separate large foldout maps.
Diana Lange, Ph.D. (2008), Humboldt University Berlin, is a Research Associate at that university. Her research is located in Area Studies (Asia) with a specialisation in history of knowledge and exploration, material and visual cultures studies and cultural interactions.
'Diana Lange's study of the unique maps of 19th century Tibet found in the British Library's Wise collection is an absolute must for every Asian studies library and serious private collection. It is an outstanding and highly readable work that will be enjoyed by students, specialists and the general reader alike.'
IIAS Leiden "By unraveling the process that led to the production of these geographic paintings Diana Lange was able to give an enlightening analysis of the complex social, cultural and political context in which these beautiful artefacts were created. By investigating their subsequent history she was also able to give a compelling exploration of the process that led them to come to England and become part of the Wise collection." Hildegard Diemberger,
University of Cambridge
All interested in the exploration of Tibet and the Himalayas, and anyone concerned with collecting, traditional cartography, visual representation, cultural interactions on that theme.