“So that the reader of these pages may be under no misapprehension I hasten to tell him that he will find in them little information. This book is the record of a journey through Burmah, the Shan States, Siam and Indo-China. I am writing it for my own diversion and I hope that it will divert also such as care to spend a few hours in reading it. I am a professional writer and I hope to get from it a certain amount of money and perhaps a little praise.”

(Somerset Maugham, The Gentleman in the Parlour, chapter IV, p. 8.)

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