A DIPLOMAT IN SIAM, by Ernest Satow. Introduced and edited by Nigel Brailey. Bangkok: Orchid Press, 2000, 206 pp., with maps and line drawings, $23.

In the spring of 1886, Ernest Satow wrote to his friend W.G. Aston in Japan that his recent journey to the Lao states had been “on the whole a pleasant one, and proved to be very necessary from an official point of view. But it took a terribly long time.”

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