Matthew Leeming

When Men Wore Mustaches

Duel in the Snows: The True Story of the Younghusband Mission to Lhasa

By

John Murray 350pp £20 order from our bookshop

The story of the Younghusband Mission, or invasion of Tibet, has been told many times. Within a year of reaching Lhasa five of its participants wrote what we would now call instant books. They perceived it as a quest, both secular and religious. All cultures have quest narratives, which run (according to structural anthropologists) as follows:

Follow Literary Review on Twitter