This is the biography of the intrepid explorer of Tibet. Alexandra David-Neel, prolific author, inveterate explorer and traveler, pioneer feminist, and authority on Tibetan Buddhism, was called by Lawrence Durrell, "the most astonishing woman of our time." She was the first European to penetrate Tibet on the level of its learned hermits, nomads, and brigands, and the first foreign woman to enter its forbidden capital. She made her famous journey to Lhasa over the Trans-Himalayas in midwinter, disguised as a beggar, ignoring alike hunger, cold, bandits, and the threats of British imperial officials. Few have led a life of adventure equal to hers, or made so much of it. The New York Times called "Forbidden Journey," an earlier bestselling book on David-Neel by the Fosters, "a great human life, very well written up." Harper’s Bazaar called it, "the fascinating account of the life and exploits of the brilliant 20th century Frenchwoman." Now, with a fresh outlook and discoveries made in the secret files of the India Office, and interviews with those who knew David-Neel and Tibet before the occupation, the authors revisit their subject. They reveal rare information about the mystical practices of Himalayan shamans, many of which were mastered by David-Neel--including out-of-body travel, mental telepathy, and the self-generation of heat. The result is a vividly detailed chronicle of a heroic woman’s quest to conquer her personal demons and of the journey that made her a celebrated figure. This compelling narration of David-Neel’s adventures, her doomed love affair with the dashing maharaja of Sikkim, and above all her attachment to the land and people of Tibet, which lasted nearly her entire101 years, recreates a tumultuous era, a gigantic landscape, and the life of a woman who followed her heart’s desire. As National Geographic wrote, "She defied East and West in her quest to explore a forbidden land." Admirers of Alexandra David-Neel and her writings have included scholars and diplomats, Jacqueline Onassis, Barbara Walters, Senator Patrick Moynihan, and members of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee.