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ANNA (AND MARGARET) AND THE KING OF SIAM

Susan Kepner
Crossroads: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Southeast Asian Studies
Vol. 10, No. 2 (1996), pp. 1-32
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40860576
Page Count: 32
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
ANNA (AND MARGARET) AND THE KING OF SIAM
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Abstract

This essay presents the results of initial research for a dual biography of Anna Leonowens, author of The English Governess at the Court of Siam (1870) and Siamese Harem Life (1873), and Margaret Umdon, who based her 1944 novel, Anna and the King of Siam, on Leonowens's books. While the eventual biography will focus equally on the lives of both women, this essay is limited to: 1) an examination of the life of Anna Leonowens (Ann Edwards Owen) before, during, and after her years in Siam; 2) new information about events in Leonowens's childhood that may have influenced the writing of her in famous books; 3) comparatively limited remarks about Margaret London; and 4) factual information about the life of the court during the reign of King Mongkut as reflected in documents and correspondence of the time and in comparison with the portrayal of the king and his court in Leonowens's and London's works.

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