Van Vliet's Siamby Chris Baker
The most detailed and fascinating account of old Siam was written by Dutch merchant Jeramias Van Vliet between 1636 and 1640 in four works: the earliest surviving chronicle of Siam's history; a wide-ranging description of the kingdom's geography, economy, society, politics, and region; a blow-by-blow account of a bloody struggle over the crown; and the Dutchman's day-by-day diary during a crisis. Here they appear together in English translation for the first time.
Jeremias Van Vliet went to the east to make his fortune. He became head of the Dutch Factory in Ayutthaya, and later was a major Asian port, the politics of its court, and early European merchant activity. The Diary of the Picnic Incident is printed here for the first time. The Historical Account appears in a totally new translation from the original old Dutch text, correcting the major errors and omissions in earlier versions. The Description and Short History reproduce the earlier translations with new annotation and analysis. The editors add new details on Van Vliet's life, the Dutch community, the city of Ayutthaya, and the court of King Prasat Thong, which set this ordinary merchant's extraordinary literary work into its context of time and place.