Earliest European view of Everest found in Kew Archives
This is pretty cool: A sketch of the Everest region, dating to roughly 1848, was recently discovered in the archives of Kew Botanic Gardens.
What's remarkable about this sketch is the timeframe when it was made: 1848. That was the beginning of the autocratic and xenophobic Rana regime in Nepal (1846-1950), and a very tough time to get anywhere as a foreigner into the interior of Nepal. And, interestingly, accounts of his journey don't indicate that he made it to the Khumbu Valley.
But, the sketch above (enhanced slightly by me to show the peaks better) clearly shows a view of Ama Dablam on the right, with what looks to be the South Face of Lhotse & Nuptse far in the distance. It seems like the sketch shows a view near Namche Bazaar, as shown in my photo below. If so, Hooker certainly made it further into the interior of Nepal than anyone I know of at that time.
Pretty impressive, and an amazing find by Kew!