[TIBET] – SARGENT, Douglas, [later 3rd Bishop of Selby] (1907-1979). A Holiday in Tibet. Typescript travel journal, 1945, illustrated with 99 of the author's photographs and a hand-drawn map of the Minya Gongka region, 29 typed pages laid into an album, folio (305 x 205mm).
'"Come along! The plane will be leaving in an hour's time and there will be room for all of us"'. After receiving the last-minute invitation to join the American Army on their fortnightly plane to Tibet, Douglas Sargent – a missionary in Sichuan Province – and three colleagues jumped at the chance to spend a month in the region. The photographs begin from the window of the plane, passing over the snow-capped ranges of Minya Gongka; the view alone 'will have made the trip worthwhile'. Stunned by the natural beauty they encountered from the moment of landing, Sargent describes with enthusiasm their encounters with the local people and their experience of the religious and social customs, with observations ranging from the architecture of Tibetan houses, 'square in every respect', to regional alimentary habits, including his first taste of butter tea, and unexpected incidents such as witnessing a local magistrate deal with the case of three nomads robbed of 25 yak by bandits. A visit to Kangting, where they bathe in the sulphur springs, is spent avoiding the Tibetan mastiffs kept by many families: 'dogs of no mean proportions and fierceness'. Described at some length are Sargent's visits to the Tibetan lamaseries, from the first, where, attracted by the strange sound of 'deep-toned horns', they enter to find the lamas eating their breakfast, to the community where they observe two lamas woodblock-printing religious texts, and the annual sacred dance of another, the routines described in detail and accompanied by photographs. The images in the album richly illustrate Sargent's words, showing both the people and the landscape of Tibet, with particularly striking photographs from his trek up to the Tzemei Pass: 'one of the most wonderful panoramas imaginable'. On returning from his mission in Sichuan, Douglas was raised to the episcopacy in 1962 as Bishop of Selby.