Siamese White

Siamese WhiteForemost Among The Biographies That Maurice Collis Wrote During His Wide Ranging Literary Career Is Siamese White An Account Of The Career Of Samuel White Of Bath Who, During The Reign Of James II, Was Appointed By The King Of Siam As A Mandarin Of That Country The Book Superbly Embodies That Old Adage Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction A Magnificent Story, Full Of Interest And Excitement, But There Is To It Than That Collis, Who Has Lived For Years On The Scene Of These High Happenings, Is Able To Give Us A First Hand Picture Of A Fascinating Land Of A Lovely Archipelago, Of Rivers And Rapids, Of An Immemorial Track Through Jungles Haunted By Tigers And Malaria The Evening Standard

Maurice Stewart Collis

★ [PDF / Epub] ☄ Siamese White By Maurice Collis ✪ –
  • Paperback
  • Siamese White
  • Maurice Collis
  • English
  • 09 May 2017

10 thoughts on “Siamese White

  1. says:

    If you are interested in some of history s strange byways, you could hardly do better than to read the works of Maurice Collis 1889 1973 Starting out as a British civil servant in Burma, Collis had accumulated a vast store of information about Southeast Asia which he set about using in a series of books that are obscure, intriguing, and yet paradoxically important in describing the European colonial experience in that part of the world.Particularly interesting are The Land of the Great Image about the Portuguese in Arakan, now part of Burma Foreign Mud, about the Opium War, in which the English fought and won a war with China to force them to become buyers and users of opium produced by the East India Company Raffles, a biography of the founder of Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles and now Siamese White, the biography of a slippery pirate who sailed under the Siamese flag in the late 17th century I also add one work from the New World, Cortez and Montezuma, a wonderful re telling of Bernal Diaz del Castillo s memoir of the conquest of the Aztecs.The above list sounds as if it had been thought up by Jorge Luis Borges in one of his obscure short fantasies In actual fact, they are the works of a historian who, though not much read today, still remains in print because his works are so fascinating.The White of Siamese White is Samuel White, originally in the employ of the East India Company, and later a shahbandar of the King of Siam, running various piratical activities from his headquarters at Mergui now part of Burma He is betrayed by his secretary, Francis Davenport, but first he decides to celebrate But the morrow was Easter Sunday and improper for any business of that nature i.e., absconding with the money He might burn Mergui, but he would not pack on the Day of Resurrection Instead, he gave a great party for the whole station All the Europeans on that distant shore were invited It was a noble entertainment, says Davenport, White was at his best He was, of course, the master his house was the centre of interest, the place about which rumour was always busy Every merchant, every farmer, bazaar girls, water men, looked up at it, standing above them on its height, as they went about their labours It represented everything that was important, that mattered White was a great lord in that place, On this Easter night his windows were all lit there was coming and going sedan chairs arriving, the welcome, toasts without, crowds standing and watching in the darkness He himself knew that the end was near, some kind of an end, and it mellowed and saddened him Davenport had hardly seen him with a manner so gentle and grand.What kind of an end was to meet Samuel White and his protector in the Siamese capital, Constant Faulcon, a Greek who had become the most powerful politician in Siam after the ailing king comes fast and furious on the heels of this Easter feast.You can t imagine stuff like this and it was all true Collis is superb at following the threads of his story through to the end in Britain and India The ending, which I will not divulge, is absolutely brilliant in showing the political crosscurrents of the day right after the Glorious Revolution and accession to the throne of William of Orange A truly magnificent read

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