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Book: King Naresuan the Great - Warrior King of Thailand by Robert Smith

categories: Book, Thai History, Ayutthaya, Historical Fiction, Phitsanulok, National Heroes, Freedom, Independence, Thailand


Robert Andrew Smith

Author Robert Andrew Smithabout this book: After many years I have settled in the city of Phitsanulok, a city that lies in the geographic center of North Central Thailand. As you travel about the city you cannot help but notice the giant cockerels that sit at road junctions, or the many smaller ones that are placed alongside Buddhist shrines. The cockerels are a tribute to the cock fight between the then, Prince Naret (later King Naresuan) and the Burmese crown prince Mingyi Swa. The story and the legend are enshrined in Thai history.

Thai history is poorly recorded. Many of the written records were destroyed when the Burmese sacked the then capital of Ayutthaya in the 1760's. With this book I have tried to be faithful to the historic record, although being a novel I have given personality to the characters that, I hope, is in line with their role in history. The story tells of the life of Thailand's national hero King Naresuan the Great, who led his country from being subjugated as a vassal state of the Burmese Toungoo Empire to one that declared its independence and fought for its survival.

The Burmese King Bayinnaung, "The Conqueror of Ten Directions," who forged the largest empire seen in South-East Asia, armies of a million men, the growing influence of the Europeans and bitter personal feuds enliven the story.

The nature of the book is such that it serves as an introduction to South East Asian history as few people have any knowledge while placing the events of the time in context. For me it was a pleasure and an adventure to write. I now understand what I see around me.

I have written under my real name, Robert Smith as it is easier for Thai people to understand, but the book remains pure Jack Lourens!

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