By Isabella Bird. With a New Foreword by Graham Earnshaw
Isabella Bird was greatest travel writer of the late 19th century and this is her master work – an account of a journey in 1897 from Shanghai, up the Yangtze River, through the Gorges, overland to Chengdu, then up into the mountains of eastern Tibet. She almost died twice in riots along the way, which she admits she found annoying. This is a lively and remarkable picture of China at the brink of huge changes, by a smart and sympathetic Observer.