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Ahkaht Dam Keung Raphiphat (อากาศดำเกิง รพีพัฒน์)

Thai. Name of an early 20th century novelist of royal descend, who held the title of momchao. He was born on 12 November 1905 as the son of Raphiphatanasakdi (รพีพัฒนศักดิ์), himself a son of King Chulalongkorn, with his consort Mom Oun Raphiphat Na Ayutthaya (หม่อมอ่อน รพีพัฒน์ ณ อยุธยา), and hence a grandson of King Rama V. To hide his royal descend and identity, he wrote under the pen name Worasaweht (วรเศวต). His oeuvre includes the book Lakhon Haeng Chiwit (ละครแห่งชีวิต), i.e. ‘The Play/Drama Of Life’, a novel that at the present time still ranks among the top hundred of most read books by Thai people. Ahkaat Dam Keung Raphiphat died on 18 May 1931, aged only 25. Officially, it was reported that he died of malaria, though unofficial reports assert that he committed suicide through gas inhalation. In 2005, one hundred years after his birthday, Ahkaat Dam Keung Raphiphat was celebrated with a Thai postage stamp, issued to commemorate a Century of Modern Thai Writers (fig.).