Five Years in Siam, From 1891-1896. Vol. I & II by H. Warington Smyth
A Reprint From 1898
This book revives the dynamic situation in Siam at the end of the nineteenth century with its vivid portrayal of the people and the country. The author, Herbert Warington Smyth, a British national working for Siam?s Government, skilfully navigates his way through uncharted political and social terrain traversed by Westerners and Thais. His narrative provides a refreshing and singular perspective of the country in these tumultuous times. As an official in the newly created Department of Mines and Geology, Smyth travels to frontier provinces that were undergoing the process of cartographic and administrative incorporation into Siam. His unique position as a prospector for minerals and gemstones enables him to provide the first rigorously detailed and dramatic account of the Chantaburi and Pailin gemstone mines. Smyth also provides a vivid account of the Paknam Incident of 1893, when French and Siamese gunboats engaged in a skirmish that set the stage for the Franco-Siamese Treaty and Convention of October 1893, by which Siam was forced to abandon some of the territories Smyth had explored. Because Smyth?s Thai was fluent he was much better informed about the local customs and all sorts of things Thai than the average Westerner travelling in Siam. Because of his love for the country and a certain skill in sketching what struck his eye, Five Years in Siam, with its unassuming charm and insight, is a goldmine to scholars and a delight for all readers.
Paperback 703 pages
Illustrated 4 folded colour maps
reprint from 1898
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