The Royal chronicles of Ayutthaya: A synoptic translation

by Leonard H. Le Blanc III

by Richard D. Cushman.

Introduced and edited by David K. Wyatt.

The Siam Society; 1st ed., 2000, 556 pages. www.thesiamsociety.org

The sacking of Ayutthaya in 1767 destroyed the majority of the royal records. Only a few fragments were eventually found. Later they were collected and published in Thai. In the early 1970s, a young American academician, Richard D. Cushman, assembled all the remaining chronicles and translated them.

Unfortunately, Cushman passed away in 1991 before he completed his manuscript. David K. Wyatt, the great scholar of Thai history, edited Cushman’s work for publication. Wyatt stated he did not want to heavily edit the manuscript. Unfortunately, this has made a somewhat flawed book, especially in the poorly organised index and translations of some Thai words into English. Although Cushman must be praised by all Thai historians for his efforts to bring a very important part of Thai history into the limelight, his book suffers from technical problems such as a lack of explanatory footnotes which would have been very helpful to the general reader. A major contribution to Thailand’s history.

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