This overview covers a great number of aspects of Siamese life, of the common people as well as of royalty and high officialdom. Bangkok's great celebration and the sordid details of its pollution and body disposal problems as well as politically tainted descriptions of the state of feudalism and slavery in the kingdom are discussed by a French colonialist. The great buildings and the significance of the main state ceremonies held in them are discussed and illustrated with colorful details. The book's descriptions are greatly enhanced by more than fifty engravings, each a masterpiece of a craft that was about to disappear though it rivaled photography in the richness of its details and refinement. Illustrated.