Heinrich Harrer


Easton Press Heinrich Harrer books

Seven Years in Tibet - signed modern classic - 2004


Heinrich Harrer biography

Heinrich Harrer was an Austrian mountaineer, explorer, and author, best known for his remarkable adventures and his influential book Seven Years in Tibet. Born on July 6, 1912, in H├╝ttenberg, Austria, Harrer became a prominent figure in the world of mountaineering and exploration during the mid-20th century. Harrer initially gained recognition as a skilled and daring climber. In 1938, he joined the German Nanga Parbat expedition, where he and three companions successfully reached the summit. However, their achievement was overshadowed by the outbreak of World War II, leading to their capture by British forces in India. Harrer attempted several escapes but was unsuccessful until 1944.

During his imprisonment in India, Heinrich Harrer honed his language skills and developed a deep interest in Eastern culture, particularly Tibet. In 1944, along with fellow escapee Peter Aufschnaiter, he managed to reach Tibet, a journey fraught with challenges and dangers. The two adventurers became part of the Tibetan society, with Harrer becoming a tutor to the Dalai Lama. Harrer spent seven years in Tibet, immersing himself in the local culture, language, and traditions. His experiences formed the basis of his most famous work, Seven Years in Tibet, which was published in 1952. The book provides a vivid account of Harrer's life in Tibet and offers insights into the political and cultural landscape of the region.

After returning to Europe, Heinrich Harrer continued his adventures and explorations. He participated in various expeditions, including the 1957 Austrian Karakoram expedition and the 1962 Austrian Dhaulagiri expedition, adding to his legacy as a renowned mountaineer.

Beyond his achievements in exploration and writing, Harrer was an advocate for environmental conservation and cultural understanding. He remained actively engaged in promoting awareness about the Himalayan region and its unique challenges. Heinrich Harrer's life and exploits have left an enduring impact on the worlds of mountaineering, exploration, and literature. His journey from a daring mountaineer to a respected scholar and cultural ambassador reflects a profound curiosity and openness to different cultures, making him a fascinating and multifaceted figure in the annals of adventure and exploration. Harrer passed away on January 7, 2006, leaving behind a legacy that continues to inspire those with a passion for adventure and a thirst for cultural understanding.


Seven Years in Tibet

A landmark in travel writing, this is the incredible true story of Heinrich Harrer’s escape across the Himalayas to Tibet, set against the backdrop of the Second World War.

Heinrich Harrer, already one of the greatest mountaineers of his time, was climbing in the Himalayas when war broke out in Europe. He was imprisoned by the British in India but succeeded in escaping and fled to Tibet. Settling in Lhasa, the Forbidden City, where he became a friend and tutor to the Dalai Lama, Heinrich Harrer spent seven years gaining a more profound understanding of Tibet and the Tibetans than any Westerner before him.

After a series of remarkable experiences in a country never crossed before by a Westerner, Harrer reached the forbidden city of Lhasa. He stayed there for seven years, learned the language and acquired a greater understanding of Tibet and the Tibetans than any Westerner had ever before achieved. He became the friend and tutor of the young Dalai Lama and finally accompanied him into India when he was put to flight by the Red Chinese invasion.

In this vivid memoir that has sold millions of copies worldwide, Heinrich Harrer recounts his adventures as one of the first Europeans ever to enter Tibet. Harrer was traveling in India when the Second World War erupted. He was subsequently seized and imprisoned by British authorities. After several attempts, he escaped and crossed the rugged, frozen Himalayas, surviving by duping government officials and depending on the generosity of villagers for food and shelter.Harrer finally reached his ultimate destination-the Forbidden City of Lhasa-without money, or permission to be in Tibet. But Tibetan hospitality and his own curious appearance worked in Harrer?s favor, allowing him unprecedented acceptance among the upper classes. His intelligence and European ways also intrigued the young Dalai Lama, and Harrer soon became His Holiness?s tutor and trusted confidant. When the Chinese invaded Tibet in 1950, Harrer and the Dalai Lama fled the country together. This timeless story illuminates Eastern culture, as well as the childhood of His Holiness and the current plight of Tibetans. It is a must-read for lovers of travel, adventure, history, and culture. A motion picture, under the direction of Jean-Jacques Annaud, will feature Brad Pitt in the lead role of Heinrich Harrer.

The astonishing adventure classic about life in Tibet just before the Chinese Communist takeover is now repackaged for a new generation of readers.

More recently made into a film starring Brad Pitt, Seven Years in Tibet is a stunning story of incredible courage and self-reliance by one of the twentieth century’s best travel writers.



What an opportunity and responsibility to review a book which has been described as the greatest travel book of our time. yet travel book doesn't describe it fully. For it is everybody's book.

I have read it myself three times, first in proof copy when given me by my publishers to read in the train, devoid of any trimmings, no cover, no fascinating photographs. Secondly when published, I bought it, because I had to own it. Thirdly when Heinrich Herrer whom I have never met sent me a copy inscribed and autographed in Tibetan. My wife not only read it, but in her enthusiasm in recommending it has given away my first two copies. As a parent I left it around hoping my son would pick it up, for I find it profitless to recommend books to your ones. He was missing a whole day of his summer holidays reading it and I am sure he is the better for it.

This book makes history. - Elephant Bill in the Broadsheet


Originally published in 1953, this adventure classic recounts Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer's 1943 escape from a British internment camp in India, his daring trek across the Himalayas, and his happy sojourn in Tibet, then, as now, a remote land little visited by foreigners. Warmly welcomed, he eventually became tutor to the Dalai Lama, teenaged god-king of the theocratic nation. The author's vivid descriptions of Tibetan rites and customs capture its unique traditions before the Chinese invasion in 1950, which prompted Harrer's departure.


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