AMUNDSEN, Edward (Norwegian Edvard A.). Kirkeholmen, Vestre Kragerø 27.1.1873 — Larvik 21.11.1928. Norwegian Missionary and Tibetan Scholar. Born in a strictly religious home he decided early to become a missionary. After being ordained in 1893, he went to England and joined the new Tibetan Pioneer Mission. He went soon to India, where he attempted to penetrate Tibet reaching 8 days distance from Lhasa. Unable to work from India he then settled in 1896 in Sichuan (China), learnt Chinese, and founded a station at Ta-chen-lu near Tibetan border. From there he made a long trek to South-Eastern Tibet in 1898-99. In 1900 he fled before the Boxers to India. Began translating the Bible and other religious books in Tibetan. From 1903 Superintendent of the British and Foreign Bible Society for South-West China and Tibet, made several journeys in the area. In 1915 he quitted the British service, returned home and worked then in 1919-24 for Det Norske Missionsforbund. His last years he spent in Larvik in Norway. Married with Petra Næss, also a Norwegian missionary. Known of his study on the Tibetan tonal system.

Publications: Primer of Standard Tibetan. 182 p. Darjeeling 1903; rev. ed. of V. E. Henderson’s Tibetan Manual, with Vocabulary. Calcutta 1903.

Account of his travels in Tibet, Geogr. Journal 15-16, 1900; Tibetan Catechism. 15 p. Calc. 1905.

In the Land of the Lamas: The story of Trashilhamo, a Tibetan lassie, in which are described Tibetan character, life, customs, and history. 12+82 p. London 1910 (a novel).

Short cut to western Mandarin: first hundred steps. 12+69 p. Shanghai 1910.

Sources: O.J. Skattum, Norsk Biogr. Lex. 1, 1923, 121f.; Ascheborgs Konversasjons Leksikon 4th ed. 1, 1954; *A.E. Køhler, “Edward Amundsen – en norsk misjonær, språkforsker og oppdagelsesreisende (1873–1928)”, Tidsskrift for Telemark historielag 1985, 131-147; Wikipedia with photo (also Norwegian version).

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