The Living Goddess
In a small medieval palace on Kathmandu’s Durbar Square lives Nepal’s famous Living Goddess—a child chosen from the Buddhist caste of goldsmiths whose role is to watch over the country and protect its people.
To Nepalis she is the embodiment of Devi and for centuries the kings of Nepal have sought her blessing to rule. Legends swirl about her. But the facts remain shrouded in secrecy and closely guarded by the Living Goddess’s priests and caretakers. With unprecedented access, earned through her many years of research, Isabella Tree takes us deep into this hidden world. Deeply felt and compellingly told, The Living Goddess is a profound and extremely moving book.
‘An extraordinary story, beautifully told… nothing short of a revelation.’ William Dalrymple.
‘A unique insight into an astonishing tradition.’ Colin Thubron.
Isabella travels into the heart of indigenous Mexico, amongst Mayan shamans in war-torn Chiapas, the peaceful lake-dwelling Purepecha of Michoacan, the powerful matriarchs of Pacific Juchitan and the princely Huichol peyoteros of the northern Sierra Madre.
She discovers a country of violence and tenderness, haunted by its brutal colonial and revolutionary past, with a love of life and a passion for fiesta – a country of extremes.
‘Wry, perceptive, intelligent and irreverently funny. The best of travel writing… Wonderfully successful.’ The Times Literary Supplement.
Islands in the Clouds
Isabella Tree’s remarkable journey takes us to the heart of the remote and beautiful Highlands of Papua New Guinea and Irian Jaya – one of the most extraordinary and dangerous regions on earth. Comic and tragic by turns, Islands in the Clouds is her moving story of the Highland people and the changes transforming their world.
‘One of the most accomplished travel writers to appear on the horizon for many years …the dialogue is brilliant.’ Eric Newby.
The Bird Man
John Gould, author and publisher of some of the most magnificent works on birds ever created, was an ambitious and unscrupulous genius. His stunning bird illustrations eclipsed even those of his great American rival, Audubon.
Isabella’s lively and evocative biography reveals a story of discovery, ambition and betrayal – touching on some of the greatest wonders of the Victorian era, from the arrival of the first giraffe in London to Gould’s exploration of Australia and his crucial role in Darwin’s theory of natural selection.
‘Thoroughly absorbing.’ The New Yorker.
‘A marvellous account.’ The Sunday Telegraph.