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A RESOUNDING FAILURE: Martin and the French in Siam, 1672-1693, by Michael Smithies. Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books, 1998, 156 pp., 395 baht.

Of the many mercantile adventures that marked European exploitations of Asia, one of the most entertaining is that of the French in Siam. This is a well-known story that has been told by many historians, among them Maurice Collis, E.W. Hutchinson and Michael Smithies himself. All have chronicled this classic failure, which began with the seeking of converts and trade and ended with troops, occupation and abject withdrawal.

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