Gustaf Mannerheim: Dagbok förd under min resa i Centralasien och Kina 1906–07–08 [Journal of my travels in Central Asia and China 1906–07–08]

11 February 2011 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Dagbok förd under min resa i Centralasien och Kina 1906–07–08, Vol 1–3
[Journal of my travels in Central Asia and China 1906–07–08, Vol. 1–3]
Redaktör [Edited by]: Harry Halén
Bildredaktör [Photo editor]: Peter Sandberg
Helsingfors: Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland, 2010. 1,128 p., ill.
ISBN 978-951-583-196-5 (complete set)
€ 80, hardback

Carl Gustaf Mannerheim (1867–1951), a Finnish officer in the Imperial Russian Army, later Commander-in-Chief of the Finnish Army and President of Finland, undertook a military reconnaissance mission, posing as an academic researcher, to Central Asia and China in 1906–1908. His journey on horseback across Asia to Peking also generated a wealth of ethnographic material: field notes, photographs and artefacts. In his travel diaries, Mannerheim describes the landscapes as well as his diverse encounters with the inhabitants of the areas he travelled through. During his visit to a Tibetan monastery, Mannerheim was pelted with stones by pilgrims. He gave the Dalai Lama an automatic pistol as a gift. These journals are now being published in full for the first time in their original language, Swedish, including Mannerheim’s own notes concerning his military mission. The photographs, some of which have never been published before, show that Mannerheim was a skilled photographer. Harry Halén, an expert in Central Asian languages and cultures, has contributed an extensive preface and copious notes.
Translated by Ruth Urbom

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