Friday, October 1, 2010

Stamp anyone?

I've introduced you to collector extraordinaire Joel Montague in previous posts but now the White Lotus publishing house have captured his passion for old postcards in the form of a new book, Picture Postcards of Cambodia: 1900-1950. With around 650 of his favourite images in print for the first time, this collection of colonial Cambodia will allow the reader to step back in time to the beginning of the 20th century. Picture postcards were immensely popular with French military, civil servants and tourists who bought thousands of exotic picture postcards as souvenirs and mailed them home from Indochina. The postcards are a treasure trove of rarely-seen images of Cambodia, which are today scattered among obscure archives, postcard dealers and private collections across the globe. In seventeen chapters, Montague introduces us to the Cambodian Monarchy, the Royal Palace and its staff; Phnom Penh; the Mekong River; the inhabitants of Cambodia; dance and music; and of course Angkor Wat and other archaeological treasures. Many of the images were captured by Hanoi-based photographer Pierre Dieulefils who visited Cambodia just once, in 1905. For anyone with an interest in the modern history of Cambodia, this book is an absolute must.

Another new book to emerge featuring Cambodia is the second novel from author Sue Guiney, titled A Clash of Innocents and published by Ward & Wood Publishing in the UK. Focused on the lives of people, both foreign and Khmer, involved in an orphanage in Cambodia, this triumph of love in adversity was published this week. The author intends to launch her book here in Phnom Penh sometime in February or March.

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