Search our site
Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner Read the opening extract of the brand new Susie Steiner book before its publication on 05/04/2018

Magic and Mystery in Tibet by Alexandra David-Neel

Magic and Mystery in Tibet

Travel   Biography / Autobiography   History   Travel   
Download an extract Discuss on Facebook Discuss this book on our Biography/Autobiography Facebook group Share this book

Lovereading view...

This is a story of a remarkable woman who travelled to places women had never been at the time, meeting extraordinary people and influencing writers who are well respected today. She lived through periods of tremendous change and embraced the old and the new. For a truly inspiring and fascinating read treat yourself to a copy of this.

Win Julie Summers' sensational SIGNED first editions

Julie Summers is an award-winning author and one of Britain’s foremost social historians. js

We are celebrating the release of Julie's latest book: Our Uninvited Guests: The Secret Lives of Britain’s Country Houses 1939-45 with a giveaway.

Julie Summers is offering signed first editions of three of her twelve books. The titles up for grabs alongside her latest book are Jambusters: The Women's Institue in the Second World War, which inspired the hit ITV Drama series HOME FIRES and Fashion on the Ration: Style in the Second World War.

Our Uninvited Guests gives the reader a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life in some of Britain's greatest country houses that were occupied by people who would never otherwise have set foot in such opulent surroundings.

To have a chance of winning this fantastic prize, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once.

The draw closes on 20 April 2018. The winner will be notified by 4 May 2018,

Good luck!

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 20/04/2018


Magic and Mystery in Tibet by Alexandra David-Neel

Alexandra David-Neel was the first European woman to meet the Dalai Lama and in 1924 became the first to enter the forbidden Tibetan capital, Lhasa.

She had already spent a decade travelling through China, living in a cave on the Tibetan border, where she learned about Buddhism from hermits, mystics and bandits. Magic & Mystery in Tibet, like Seven Pillars of Wisdom, attempts to bring ancient wisdom into the modern age. David-Neel records the seemingly magic feats performed by Buddhist monks; telepathy, ‘tumo’ breathing (the art of generating body heat to keep warm in freezing conditions), the ability to run for days at a time, the ability to defy gravity and the ability to become invisible.


“David-Neel’s trailblazing travels were driven by curiosity and deep-seated Buddhist spirituality… Her writings blend descriptions of extraordinary psychic exercises and Bon sorcery… with accounts of the wonders and rigours of early 20th-century travel in remote regions.” Wanderlust

“A fascinating account of the spiritual training of Tibetan monks and mystics… an intriguing book… A true travel classic that will enchant thinkers and adventurers alike.” Geographical

“One of the most remarkable and influential female travellers of all time, delves into the mysterious world of Tibetan Buddhism… Her lucid prose and insightful observations will captivate readers throughout, opening the door to a different kind of reality.” Big Issue in the North

About the Author

Born in 1868 to a respectable French family, Alexandra David-Neel became an occultist, anarchist and the most remarkable female travel writer of the Twentieth century.

David-Neel studied at the Sorbonne at a time when women were not allowed to formally matriculate and converted to Buddhism after viewing a statue of the Buddha in the Guimet Museum. In 1911 she set off, alone, to travel around India for the second time and in 1914 she secluded herself in a cave in the Himalayas for two years, intensively studying the mysteries of Tibetan Buddhism, as well as the mystic legends that surrounded Buddhist monks. From 1918 she spent three years in a Buddhist monastery translating texts into French and English. By 1924 she had travelled to the forbidden city of Lhasa and returning to France in 1927 began to write, recording her extraordinary experiences. She died in 1969, 101 years old, still travelling, and an inspiration for a generation that included Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

9th March 2007


Alexandra David-Neel

More books by Alexandra David-Neel
Author 'Like for Like'


Souvenir Press Ltd


272 pages


Biography / Autobiography

Travel & holiday guides



Lovereading helps me decide what real people read.

Kerry Bridges

It's the first site that I visit when deciding on the next set of books to buy. A particular treat is being able to download an extract.

Tessa Olson

It has enriched my leisure time by introducing me to a world of books which I would not have previously considered.

Val Rowe

If you love reading, then you'll love Lovereading! Full of tips & info for every discerning reader.

Lynne Rapson

It has opened my eyes to different authors and genres. Just log on and try, you will be surprised and not want for reading material again.

Jocelyn Garvey

Lovereading - a community of people passionate about reading and sharing their views. An incomparable website for book lovers.

Helen Clark

I love that Lovereading handpicks very special debut reads.

Magda North

Discover new authors and enjoy old favourites; oodles of literary gems to uncover at Lovereading with candid reviews from real reviewers.

Emily Wright