THE TRANS-SALWIN SHAN STATE OF KIANG TUNG
2005.79pp, 150x230mm, pullout maps, B395
G. J. Younghusband came from a family with long roots in the Indian army and colonial service tradition. Born in 1859, after school at Clifon and then Sandhurst, the very young lieutenant in 1888 was sent on what was no less than a spying mission, to find out the most accessible route to the disputed Shan State of Keng Tung through Siamese territory. The area was a hotchpotch of intrigue with Britain (occupying Upper Burma since 1886), Siam, Lan Na, the French and of course the Shans vying for position and power.
He describes in this book the land through which he passes and the characters he meets, and hints at the machinations of other interested parties in the region, with debonair nonchalance and a fine eye for detail. He went on to publish another volume covering his travels, and one of his memoirs (Forty Years a Soldier, 1923)
Younghusband, like his brother Francis, another spy and traveler to Tibet, was knighted and became a major-general in the army. He was seriously wounded in the First World War, after which he was appointed Keeper of the Jewel Tower in the Tower of London in 1917, holding the post until his death in 1944.
This intriguing text, of which hitherto only two copies are known still to exist, was first published in 1888, and is here reissued with an introduction by the noted historian David K. Wyatt.