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Five Years in Siam from 1891-1896 (Vol. 1-2)
   


  ISBN : 9789748495989
  WL Order Code :  E21715
  Price :  US$48.00
  Bangkok 1994, repr. from 1898;
  718 pp., illus., 4 folded maps, 140 x 210 mm Weight  1.000 kg
  Smyth, H. Warrington; Five Years in Siam from 1891-1896 (Vol. 1-2)
   
 
 
   
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The account reviews the dynamic situation in Siam at the end of the nineteenth century. It is a vivid portrayal of the people and the place. Its author, a British national working for Siam’s government, skillfully navigated his way through uncharted political and social terrain. His narrative provides a refreshing and singular perspective of the country in those tumultuous times. As an official in the newly created Department of Mines, Smyth traveled to frontier provinces that at the time went through the process of cartographic and administrative incorporation into Siam. His unique position enabled him to provide the first rigorously detailed and dramatic account of the Chantaburi and Pailin gem mines. Smyth also witnessed first hand the Paknam Incident of 1893, when French and Siamese gunboats engaged in a skirmish en route to Bangkok. Another factor that distinguished Smyth from his Western contemporaries was his ability to speak Thai. No doubt Smyth’s direct communication with the Thai-speaking population informed his experience and also accounted for his amiable relationship with them. Smyth genuinely attempted to locate and understand each situation he encountered within its cultural context. With its unassuming charm and insights this account is a goldmine for scholars and lay readers alike.
 

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