Mabel H. Cabot will sign books and greet the public during a reception Friday, Aug. 20 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Personal Book Shop, 114 Main St./Route 1. She will discuss her latest book, “Vanished Kingdoms: A Woman Explorer in Tibet, China and Mongolia 1921-1925.”

Cabot’s book, fully illustrated with black and white photographs and digitized colored lantern slide images, tells the story of the first female American explorer to enter western China, southern Mongolia and the Tibetan borderlands during the 1920s. Janet E. Wulsin’s remarkable story, drawn from her letters and diaries, is told by Cabot, her daughter, in vivid detail. The readers is able to step back in time to the kingdoms of western China, Tibet and outer Mongolia that have totally disappeared.

The author’s interest in the vanished kingdoms visited by her mother began when Cabot discovered Wulsin’s archives in the basement of the Peabody Museum of Archeology at Harvard University in 1975. Her research has since taken her to China, as well as to the archives of Haverford and Bowdoin colleges; the Smithsonian Institution; and the National Geographic Society.

Cabot received her bachelor’s degree from Smith College and has written for the Washington Post, Washington Star and Smithsonian Magazine. She served in the White House during the Reagan Administration from 1980 to 1984, and worked as the director of corporate programs for the Ford Motor Company from 1989 to 1999. She lives in Sarasota, Fla. and Cambridge, Mass., and she and her husband have just purchased a home in Thomaston. She has four children and five grand-children.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to