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[GREAT GAME: MONGOLIA & TIBET] Mongoliya i strana tangutov: Trekhletneye puteshestvie v vostochnoi nagornoi Azii [i.e. Mongolia, The Tangut Country, and the Solitudes of Northern Tibet, Being a Narrative of Three Years' Travel in Eastern High Asia, by N. Przhevalsky of the Russian Staff Corps, Member of the Imperial Russian Geographical Society/ Edition of the Russian Geographical Society]
St. Petersburg: Typ. of V.S. Balashev, 1875. 2 vols. ix, 381, [1 - errata]; [4], 2, 29, [2], iv, 176, 55, 36, 114, iv, ii pp. Large Quarto. With 31 chromolithographed plates and two large folding chromolithographed maps at rear. Contemporary quarter leather with gilt lettered titles on the spine and blind stamped decorative borders and corners on the boards. Owner's name written in ink, and numbers written in red pencil on both title pages, another owner's name written in ink on verso of the title page to vol. 2. Spines cracked on hinges, but repaired, minor foxing of the text, maps with a minor tear each, otherwise a very good set. First edition. Official account of Przhevalsky's first travel to Central Asia in 1870-1873, which made him world famous. Accompanied by only three men, he first explored the eastern frontiers of Central Asia, travelling from Kalgan (Zhangjiakou) as far as Duolun and Dalai Nuur Lake. During the next, major part of the travel, he explored the Ordos Plateau formed by the Ordos Loop of the Yellow River, crossed the Alashan section of the Gobi Desert and the Alashan range of the Nan Shan mountains, entering Marco Polo's little known ''country of Tanguts''. There he surveyed and mapped Lake Kokonor (Quinghai), discovered the Quaidam (Tsaidam) Basin west of the lake, and crossing the Burkhan Buddha range of the Kunlun Mountains, traversed the Tibetan plateau, going as far as the upper reaches of the Yangtse River. Due to the lack of resources the party had to turn back being about 850 km from Lhasa; Przhevalsky returned to Urga via the central part of the Gobi Desert which hasn't been visited by a European before. The expedition altogether went for over 11,800 km, produced first thorough descriptions of the Gobi, Ordos and Alashan Deserts, the Quaidam (Tsaidam) Basin and the Tibetan Plateau, mapped over twenty mountain ranges and seven new lakes; assembled voluminous zoological and botanical collections. The book consists of two volumes: the expedition account (v.1), and results of scientific observations (v. 2), the latter contains articles about the region's climate, birds, fish, and reptiles. The description of Mongolian and Tibetan flora which was planned to compile the third volume of the book was instead published as the first part of the series of Nauchnye Rezultaty puteshestviy N.M. Przhevalskogo v Tsentralnoy Azii… (i.e. Scientific Results of N.M. Przhevalsky's travels in Central Asia…; SPb., 1889). Chromolithographed plates depict mammals, birds, fish and reptiles; detailed chromolithographed map published on two large folding sheets represents the ''Route survey [executed] during the Travel of Przhevalsky in the Eastern Asian Plateau in 1871, 1872 and 1873''. The book was awarded with the Gold medal of the Russian Geographical Society (1874), a diploma of the International Geographical Congress in Paris (1875), prestigious Founder's Medal of the Royal Geographical Society (1879), and others; it was quickly translated into major European languages.
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Last Found On: 2017-09-20           Check availability:      Biblio    


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