Anna and the King of Siam
Anna Leonowens, a proper Englishwoman, was an unlikley candidate to change the course of Siamese (Thai) history. A young widow and mother, her services were engaged in the 1860's by King Mongkut of Siam to help him communicate with foreign governments and be the tutor to his children and favored concubines. Stepping off the steamer from London, Anna found herself in an exo...more
It was really interesting to start with the preface by Margaret Landon and learn more about Anna Leonowens. It made me once again glad that I read prefaces, because it put me in the right state of mind to read this book.
One of the first thin...more
As I read about the harem of the king and the brutal class distinction in Siam, I couldn't help but think that this book is a perfect portrait of what a society in bondage looks like. Rather than believing in the...more
The truth of the matter (ha!) is: this book wasn't all that great.
Margaret Landon is not a very good writer; the book is sloppily formatted at times it doesn't know if it's trying to be a biography or if it's trying to be ficti...more
This book is written by Margaret Landon who took the two books that Anna Leonowens had written about her experiences in Siam and edited them together. She thoroughly researched the life of Anna Leonowens but she added a few fictional scenes to help the flow.
Anna Leonowens is a widowed English woman living in India in the 1860s. Since losing her husband, she has struggled to provide for her two children. An opportunity arises for her to serve as governess, teaching the royal children of Siam (modern day Thailand) English and assisting their father, King Mongkut, with secr...more
Some reviewers have mentioned watching the films adapted from the book, and I remember seeing the Deborah Kerr/Yul Brynner version (I developed a huge crush on Yul), it seems to be a bland version of the book, being a...more
Obwohl "Der König und ich" von Margaret Landon sehr leichtfüssig geschrieben ist, musste ich das Buch immer wieder aus der Hand legen, weil ich nicht weiterlesen konnte. Ich kann kaum fassen, was ich da gelesen habe. "Anna und der König von Siam" war mir von Kindheit an ein Begriff durch die Verfilmungen mit Yul Brynner. Als ich im Vorwort erfuhr, dass diese Geschichte WAHR ist, wäre ich beinahe vom Stuhl gekippt. Margaret Landon, die selbst lange in Siam gelebt...more
Put together through family interviews and the journals and letters of Anna LeonOwens, it's the real story, which is nothing much like the 3 Hollywood versions. Her experiences as teacher to the children and wives of Siam's then king were actually extremely trying and...more
Interesting note about my edition:
I own a first edition of this book, published in 1944. Since it was printed during WWII, there appears this disclaimer in the front of the book. "Government wartime restrictions on materials have made it essential that the amount o...more
My one complaint is that I wish the king had played a more prominent part in the book. I really didn't feel like I got to know him very well like I did Anna. At the end of the book, when Anna leaves Siam, we are told that she realized she and the king were not just employe...more
I've seen reviews that judge the book poorly because Anna disapproves of slavery & prostration & so forth... people, relax. Everyone has opinions. Even people in books. Especiall...more
However, after reading the book, I found several online articles about Anna Leonowens and how she greatly misled people about who she was and the impact she had. While I believe the author attempted to write as true of an account as she could based off the two books Anna wrote, it seems that Anna wasn't a reliable narrator.
Ten Famous Lives by Plutarch
On the Beach
Next to these, Anna and the King of Siam read like a lighthearted romp. But I really loved women's biographies as a teen and this was one of the best. Thank you, Mrs. Nauert and I apologize for not standing up for the pledge of...more