Around the World with a King, is an eyewitness account of Hawaiian King Kalakaua's journey around the world in 1881. William Armstrong accompanied the King as a member of His Majesty's Government and Royal Commissioner for Immigration. His account of this remarkable circumnavigation, the first ever for a monarch, is told with humor and insight, although not always with sympathy for the King's aspirations or ideals. The book is a gem of Hawaiian literature. It provides us with insights into the personality of King Kalakaua, and into the mind of Mr. Armstrong. We are given fascinating glimpses of the courts of both Eastern and Western countries, including the Japanese Royal Court and that of Queen Victoria of England. Mr. Armstrong sometimes views his royal master with a jaundiced eye, but, to the reader, King Kalakaua emerges unscathed. Song writer, bon vivant, able politician, scholar, gentleman, and humanist, Kalakaua was devoted to his Hawaiian subjects and the to him. Nicknamed the Merry Monarch, he has, with the passing of time, emerged as a highly significant personality who has been more appropriately named the Magnificent Monarch.
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