Lost Horizon by James Hilton

Lost Horizon is a novel by English writer James Hilton. It is best remembered as the origin of Shangri-La, a fictional utopian lamasery high in the mountains of Tibet.

The book explicitly notes that having made war on the ground man would now fill the skies with death, and that all precious things were in danger of being lost, like the lost histories of Rome (“Lost books of Livy”). It was hoped that overlooked by the violent, Shangri-la would preserve them and reveal them later to a receptive world exhausted by war. That was the real purpose of the Lamasary; study, inner peace and long life were a side benefit to living there.

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