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Woman between Two Kingdoms

Cover of the book Woman between Two Kingdoms

Author: Leslie Castro-Woodhouse

Woman between Two Kingdoms explores the story of Dara Rasami, one of 153 wives of King Chulalongkorn of Siam during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Born in a kingdom near Siam called Lan Na, Dara served as both hostage and diplomat for her family and nation.

Thought of as a harem by the West, Siam's Inner Palace actually formed a nexus between the domestic and the political. Dara's role as an ethnic Other among the royal concubines assisted the Siamese in both consolidating the kingdom's territory and building a local version of Europe's hierarchy of civilizations. Dara Rasami's story provides a fresh perspective on both the sociopolitical roles played by Siamese palace women, and Siam's response to the intense imperialist pressures it faced in the late nineteenth century.

Thanks to generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, through The Sustainable History Monograph Pilot, the ebook editions of this book are available as Open Access volumes from Cornell Open ( and other repositories.



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Publication Details

Publication Year: 2021

ISBN: 9781501755507