Thomas Wallace Knox (June 26, 1835 - January 6, 1896) was a journalist, author, and world traveler, known primarily for his work as a New York Herald correspondent during the American Civil War. As an author, Knox wrote over 45 books, including a popular series of travel adventure books for boys.
This volume completes the series of "The Boy Travellers in the Far East." It attempts to describe Ceylon and India, together with Borneo, the Philippine Islands, and Burmah, in the same manner that the preceding volumes gave an account of Japan, China, Siam, Java, Cochin-China, Cambodia, and the Malay Archipelago.
Frank and Fred have continued their journey under the guidance of Doctor Bronson, and the plan of their travels is identical with that previously followed. The words of the last preface may be repeated in this: "The incidents of the narrative were mainly the experiences of the author at a recent date; and the descriptions of countries, cities, temples, people, manners, and customs are nearly all from his personal observations and notes. He has endeavored to give a faithful account of Ceylon, India, Burmah, and the Philippine Islands as they appear to-day, and trusts that the only fiction of the book is in the names of the individuals who tell the story."
As in the foregoing volumes, the narrative has been interrupted occasionally, in order to introduce matters of general interest to juvenile readers. The author hopes that the chapters on meteors, sea-serpents, and outrigger boats will meet the same welcome that was accorded to the episode of a whaling voyage, in the first volume, and the digressions concerning naval architecture, submarine explorations, and the adventures of Marco Polo, in the second.
The publishers have kindly allowed the use of illustrations that have appeared in previous publications, in addition to those specially prepared for this volume. The author has consulted the works of previous travellers in the Far East to supplement his own information, and is under obligations to several of them. As in the last volume, he is specially indebted to Mr. Frank Vincent, Jr., author of "The Land of the White Elephant," for his descriptions of Burmah, and for the use of several of the engravings relative to that country. Other authorities have been generally credited in the text of the work, or in foot-notes to the pages where quotations are made.
In their departure from Bombay, Frank and Fred have left the Far East behind them; but, as they are yet a long way from home, they can hardly be said to have finished their travels. It is quite possible that they may be heard from again, in the company of their good friend, the Doctor, and may allow us, as they have heretofore, to glance at their letters to friends at home.
T. W. K.