"This is a rare work to came out of Tibet, the letters and other papers of Fr. Ippolito Dessideri who lived in Tibet as a missionary from 1713-21. This book is perhaps the earliest known account about Tibet.
"Although Dissideri did not succeed much as a missionary and failed to establish any Christian hold in Tibet, these letters and papers give a valuable documentation of his hazardous journey and experiences in Tibet in the eighteenth century when few westerners had ever heard about this exotic land.
"His journey was through Kashmir and Ladakh and finally to Lhasa where he was able to meet the King himself. Although the King read and discussed the Bible he could not be to converted. However Dessideri himself picked up Tibetan and learnt and wrote about Tibetan religion and history, much of which is reproduced in these rare documents.
"An unpublished documentation, this is a work of extreme value, bringing out, as it does, the rare picture of eighteenth century Tibet. Although not exactly a travelogue, it catches one's interest and ties one down spell bound to the narrations and letters which speak from the heart and mind of a scholar who finds himself deeply involved in the way of life warfare and history of the Tibetan people of a bygone era." (jacket)