COLLIS, Maurice. Siamese White. London, Faber and Faber, .
8vo. Original red printed cloth imitating snakeskin, or marbled paper, spine lettered and decorated in gilt; pp. xiii, , 322, title-page with illustration, map at rear, slight slant, minimal offsetting from endpapers, otherwise very good.
First edition of a beautiful book production, uncommon. 'Foremost 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' (Faber & Faber website, on a new edition).
'A magnificent story, full of interest and excitement, but there is more 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' (Evening Standard).