James Hilton's Novel, Terry
Early reference to a Shangri-la type monastery, predates his novel, Lost Horizon.
It would set you back two grand if you wanted a first edition in fine/fine condition of James
Hilton's, Terry, one of his rarest novels. Fortunately, I was able to locate a very scarce
paperback copy in South Africa that I can afford, and just ordered it.
I have it on good authority (Hilton scholar, John R. Hammond), that Terry, published six
years before Lost Horizon, contains Hilton's first reference to a mysterious, Tibetan
lamasery where the monks live for hundreds of years.
This is remarkable. It suggests that Hilton knew Sir Wilfrid Maleson (better known to us as
Colonel Bradford) at least six or seven years before Lost Horizon was published, and long
before Maleson actually went searching for the monastery. This, in turn, suggests that
Hilton and Maleson had a fairly strong friendship (yet Maleson is not described as part of
Hilton's circle of friends). It further suggests that this Tibetan monastery theme was very
important to Hilton.