Just a quick post of a wonderful website I stumbled upon doing a bit of background research for a point I needed to make in the chapter I’m currently working on (yes, Googling a dissertation!)
These are the letters of Captain Cecil Mainprise, who ventured to Lhasa in 1903-4 as part of the Younghusband Expedition. In another example of ‘history-as-it-happens’ (similar sites have been highlighted in past Frog posts) a relative of the captain is posting the letters throughout this year, 105 years later, on the day that they were written.
Now that I’ve found him at the Phari Fort today, it’s a journey I plan to follow until they reach Lhasa in August, and beyond.
For a bit of background, this is the text of the editor’s note from the first post on the blog:
This book of letters remained unread in my father’s book case for many years. I dont think anyone had read them because they were so difficult to decipher and perhaps also because no-one quite realised what an exciting escapade Uncle Cecil had been involved in and what a charismatic and remarkable character Younghusband was. I decided to have a go at reading them after my father died. I would spend evenings reading the letters and dictating what I had learnt into a cassette recorder. This process continued over a period of months. It helped that I had a period of jury service when I could press on. It was a wonderful experience. As if time had doubled back on itself and Cecil was even then on his way to Lahssa. It was a tough journey but in those days they tended to just get on with things. And of course writing to Delia he would not have wanted to worry her.