Forbidden Journey

Forbidden Journey A classic account of a trip through China during the golden age of travelIn Ella Maillart contemplated one of the most arduous journeys in the world the impossible journey from Peking then a par

  • Title: Forbidden Journey
  • Author: Ella Maillart Dervla Murphy Thomas McGreevy
  • ISBN: 9780810119857
  • Page: 230
  • Format: Paperback
  • A classic account of a trip through China during the golden age of travelIn 1935 Ella Maillart contemplated one of the most arduous journeys in the world the impossible journey from Peking, then a part of Japanese occupied China, through the distant province of Sinkiang present day Tukestan , to Kashmir Enlisting with newswriter Peter Fleming with the caveat that hisA classic account of a trip through China during the golden age of travelIn 1935 Ella Maillart contemplated one of the most arduous journeys in the world the impossible journey from Peking, then a part of Japanese occupied China, through the distant province of Sinkiang present day Tukestan , to Kashmir Enlisting with newswriter Peter Fleming with the caveat that his company remain tolerable , Maillart undertook a journey considered almost beyond imagination for any European and doubly so for a woman.The trip promised hardships such as typhus and bandits, as well as the countless hazards surrounding the civil war between Chinese communists and Chiang Kai shek s nationalists Setting out with pockets full of Mexican money the currency used in China at the time , Maillart encountered a way of life now lost, but one that then had gone unchanged for centuries.Maillart describes it all with the sharp eye and unvarnished prose of a veteran reporter the missionaries and rogues, parents binding daughters feet with rags, the impatient Fleming lighting fires under stubborn camels It s a hard road, not that Maillart cares At all times she is a witty, always enchanted guide except when it comes to bureaucrats.Forbidden Journey ranks among other travel narratives like Fleming s News from Tartary, based on the same journey and Robert Byron s The Road to Oxiana But it is also a portrait of a fascinating woman, one of many women from the pre WWII era who ignored convention and traveled in hidden lands It remains a vivid account of its time and a classic of travel literature.

    One thought on “Forbidden Journey”

    1. "Night was falling when the vast swarm of lights that was Paris appeared in the north.Suddenly I understood something. I felt now, with all the strength of my senses and intelligence, that Paris, France, Europe, the White Race, were nothing. The something that counted in and against all particularisms was the magnificent scheme of things that we call the world."Forbidden Journey, Maillart's account of the trip that her travel companion Peter Fleming described in his book News from Tartary, was a [...]

    2. As a classic of travel literature this is good. In 1935 Ella Maillart traveled predominantly by donkey, horse, camel and her own two feet from Peking, at that time under Japanese control, to Srinagar, Kashmir. This took seven months. She traveled with Peter Fleming - yes, the very brother of Ian Fleming who of course wrote the James Bond books. Peter and Ella were very different in character, beyond the fact that she was Swiss and he British. Each has written their own book. News From Tartary is [...]

    3. I love this book. It had an enormous influence on my young life. I loved Maillart's intrepid spirit and equally was entranced by the wild open spaces which she encountered on her great journey into the west of China, and the extraordinary range of cultures and people that she met along the way. Her relationship with Peter Fleming, brother of Ian of James Bond fame, was wryly amusing. More disparate travelling companions could not have been found, and yet the journey worked. It was wonderful, and [...]

    4. This account has a bit of all the best things about the best travel writing: observation of customs and peoples, including honest but tactful accounts of travel companions, historical information, and vivid nature writing.

    5. For those who aren’t aware, Forbidden Journey, by Ella Maillart and News From Tartary by Peter Fleming both describe the same journey, at the same time, taken together. They were somewhat reluctant companions, who both expressed their misgivings about undertaking the journey together. ”The jokes were flying. Somebody observed that Peter’s last book was called One’s Company, and the English edition of my last book, was Turkestan Solo. Now here we were, contrary to all our principles, goin [...]

    6. Reading the World: Wow. Talk about roughing it!! Journalist Ella Maillart travelled overland - riding on horseback, camel, donkey, pony and/or walking through China in 1935 - from Peking to India (because of when the book was published, the place names are the old ones). Some of the journey is shocking - the desert sections and some of the river crossings in particular. (We learned about this remarkable woman when reading "Beyond the Great Wall" by Naomi Duguid and Jeffrey Alford.)I always have [...]

    7. This book relates Ella's view of a journey undertaken with Peter Fleming in 1935 (and told in his book "News from Tartary"). It is interesting how much the two books differ, they could almost have been written about different trips!Ella perhaps provides a better narrative of the different people met on the journey, however, what it does lack is the sense of it being a journey. Whilst, arguably, Peter's book does not spend as much time on the people, it does far better give a sense of a journey w [...]

    8. Ella Maillart was a Swiss adventurer, journalist and sportswoman, who travelled through some of the remoter areas of Asia through the 1930s. 'Forbidden Journey' is an account of a journey Maillart took with an English journalist from Beijing to Xinjiang (also known as Sinjiang or Chinese Turkestan) and then on to India. Xinjiang is the westernmost province of China which was, during the 1930s, a semi-independent state, politically unstable and under the influence of both the Soviet Union and the [...]

    9. With Fleming's The News From Tartary a unique journey by train, truck and on horse/pony/camel-back across the Chinese Turkestan of the 1930s. This is the partner volume to Fleming's book. Two viewpoints, one unbeleivable nature hike.

    10. Just to get the giddy, ridiculous flattery out of the way - I LOVED Forbidden Journey. Loved it! Loved, loved, loved, loved it. Absolutely loved it. Loved it.I stumbled upon this book through a list for travel journals written by women in the early 20th century (very specific, but that was what I was looking for). I have to admit that I'd never even read the name Ella Maillart. There just simply aren't many travel books by women during this time period (and the ones that do exist are incredibly [...]

    11. I love this book. Cannot recommend enough for lovers of fantasy fiction as well as historical or travel stories. This is a real life journey through a vanished world, describing the sorts of things people in fairy tales do all the time.

    12. One thing that really stood out to me in reading The Forbidden Journey was how Maillart characterizes Peter Fleming (her companion on this trip who wrote a book about the same journey). He is frequently described as a man interested in being on the move rather than someone who takes in the places they visit (as opposed to Mailart's own approach to travel). Maillart's voice is very strong, incorporating cultural and historical information alongside what must have been a trip quite unlike any take [...]

    13. I really enjoy reading about adventure, especially those by women, and this one is a classic. In a way she so underplays the hardships that it is a little too subdued in tone. For example, at the end of the book she blithely says, "at the end of a day's march of nearly forty miles, we came out into the valley Gilgit". At this point they are no longer on foot, or dragging camels or donkeys or horses, but after months of grueling, dangerous travel she throws off forty miles like it was nothing. Ne [...]

    14. A lovely travelogue of an interesting region of the world. The writing reminded me of Freya Stark's travelogues, but for some reason, I was much more engaged reading Ella Maillart's story. I actually Google mapped her trek outlined in the book, and it is amazing she made this journey in the 1930's. An inspiration for traveling to remote places and experiencing different cultures.

    15. Fleming's "The Road to Tartary" tells of the same journey. Like Fleming, Maillart makes light of the many difficulties and is an astute observer of the characters and the terrain. It's fun to meet Fleming again, portrayed here as an impatient but charming man.

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