The Secret Lives of Alexandra David-Neel is the definitive biography of the explorer Lawrence Durrell called "the most astonishing woman of our time." Alexandra David-Neel was the first European to explore Tibet at a time when foreigners were banned; few have led a life of adventure to equal hers or made so much of it. In Tibet and Sikkim, David-Neel lived among hermits and shamans while studying first hand the secret mystical practices of Tibetan Buddhism, including out-of-body travel, telepathy, vampiric shamanism, and tantric sex. After returning to France, she wrote more than thirty books, among them My Journey to Lhasa and Magic and Mystery in Tibet. She has had a profound influence on Beat culture and the emergence of American Buddhism. Drawing from rare source material, including information obtained from the secret files of the India office, Barbara and Michael Foster have written a vividly detailed chronicle-of both David-Neel's quest to conquer her personal demons and of the outer journey that made her one of the most celebrated figures of her day.