George Bogle (standing LHS by the window) meeting the Panchen Lama, by Tilly Kettle
Glasgow boy George Bogle (1746-81) engaged in remarkable cross cultural exchange with the Panchen Lama and became the first European to establish diplomatic relations with Tibet. His family believed that Mary and Martha, two little girls sent home after his death, were Bogle’s daughters, born after his marriage to a close relative of the Panchen Lama. If true Bogle’s story could be evidence of less racist, more open minded times, before British India became intolerant and segregated – but is the story all it seems? And what does it tell us about attitudes in George Bogle’s day?’
Louise explored George Bogle’s story on BBC Radio 3, Thursday 19 August at 8.45pm. You can listen again here.
For further reading check out The High Road to China: George Bogle, the Panchen Lama and the First British Expedition to Tibet by Dr Kate Teltscher, one of the Bogle experts joining Louise. Dr Teltscher’s essay on Bogle’s correspondance is also available here.