The kingdom’s struggle against the colonial superpowers

Claire Keefe-Fox
978 616 733 975 7
H196 x W128 mm
No. of pages
392 pages


Siam 1890
Blue-stocking Julie Gallet is an independent-minded Parisian who has made what her English mother describes as an imprudent match. Following her husband to the Far East, she comes to stay with Michael Crawfurd, her British diplomat cousin and discovers a glittering city of golden spires and colonial intrigue as the Kingdom is caught between France’s territorial ambitions and England’s quest for supremacy and influence in Asia.

Resisting her family’s entreaties to return home, Julie settles in Bangkok, becomes a French teacher to the ladies of the Royal Court and becomes passionately involved in Siamese life and affairs. Her frank and irreverent journal recounts her growing political awareness along with the awakening of her sensuality.

While Paris and London play a game of global chess with the Siamese as their pawns, both she and Michael find their national and personal loyalties tested. Their lives and loves take unexpected turns, and Siam struggles to retain its independence against a ruthless and formidable opponent.

Blending fact and fiction, Siamese Tears is a faithful account of the events leading to the Paknam incident through the eyes of those who witnessed them.

Claire Keefe-Fox was born in Italy of French and American parents and grew up between Europe and the USA, however, she always felt a special affinity for Asia. Her love affair with Thailand began when she saw a replica of the Bang Pa In pavilion at the World Expo in Brussels and she has been coming to Thailand almost every year since 1975. She has written three novels in French, Le Ministre des Moussons, L’Atelier d’Eternité and Le Roi des Rizières. After serving for four years as director of Alliance Française for Thailand, she returned to University in Paris to complete her degree in Thai language and studies, constantly trying to deepen her knowledge of the country which she feels is her second home, and now divides her time between France and Bangkok.