Laos In 1893 by Charles Lemire
Translated by John Stape with an introduction by Eisel Mazard
Laos in 1893, a compelling study by bureaucrat, explorer, traveler, art collector, and guidebook writer, Charles Lemire (1839-1912), offers a highly colored portrait in miniature of late-nineteenth-century French Indochina vividly documenting the intense Siamese (Thai) and French rivalry in this region.
A robust colonialist, Lemire is chary of Thai expansionism and fearful about England's economic and territorial ambitions in Southeast Asia. Deeply, and even relentlessly a man of his time, Lemire observes this terrain with a jealous and skilled eye, eagerly attempting to engage his far-distant compatriots' interest in a region he knew well. Polemical to a fault and riven with the contradictions of the colonialist enterprise, this snapshot of the late 1890s, offers considerable interest to the reader of today. Original maps showing Thai military outposts and supplementary ethnographic illustrations enrich the text.
313 pages, 12 pp. illus., 2 map