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ISBN:0520252268
Author: Susan Morgan
ISBN13: 978-0520252264
Title: Bombay Anna: The Real Story and Remarkable Adventures of the King and I Governess
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ePUB size: 1802 kb
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Language: English
Category: History and Criticism
Publisher: University of California Press; 1 edition (July 7, 2008)
Pages: 300

Bombay Anna: The Real Story and Remarkable Adventures of the King and I Governess by Susan Morgan



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If you thought you knew the story of Anna in The King and I, think again. As this riveting biography shows, the real life of Anna Leonowens was far more fascinating than the beloved story of the Victorian governess who went to work for the King of Siam. I first read Anna Leonowens’s 1873 The Romance of the Harem in 1982, shortly before my first visit to Thailand. I came across the book while browsing through the stacks in the Echols Collection at Cornell University. I remember my astonishment and delight at reading it. It is a preposterous book, a collection of interwoven stories really, extreme in content and style, and wildly sentimental. My tastes are generally quite otherwise; the writer I most admire is Jane Austen.

As this riveting biography shows, the real life of Anna Leonowens was far more fascinating than the beloved story of the Victorian governess who went to work for the King of Siam.

Susan Morgan clearly loves Anna Leonowens. Much of what Morgan brings to the table is new and insightful, especially historic details about Anna's early life. She has fleshed out what was discovered by . In a chapter called ANNA UNVEILED, Bristowe presents for the first time, the basic truth about Anna's birth place, birthdate and background, all in India. One person found this helpful.

The Siamese king’s historical governess was far more than she seemed. The title of Susan Morgan’s biography may ring no bells, but chances are you’ve heard of its heroine - whose life formed the basis for Margaret Landon’s 1944 book Anna and the King of Siam, itself adapted in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1951 musical. Unlikely as the plot of The King and I is, Anna Leonowens’s real life was even stranger. A mixed-race Anglo-Indian army brat, she managed to pass as a Victorian lady long enough to be hired as a governess at the court of Siam. Her experience in the royal harem was later parlayed into literary fame and a trans-Atlantic career of teaching, writing.

Description: If you thought you knew the story of Anna in The King and I, think again. Anna was born a poor, mixed-race army brat in India, and what followed is an extraordinary nineteenth-century story of savvy self-invention, wild adventure, and far-reaching influence

If you thought you knew the story of Anna in The King and I, think again. This book contains 15 papers addressing impressions left upon landscape, through historical time, by the ideologies of religion, politics, church and the state. Examples are presented through history from Medieval times to the present day, and from such wide-ranging locations as the USA, Palestine, South Africa, India, and Germany.

1 Real book: The Real Book is a central part of the culture of playing music where pilot focused on new methods to support community- and complexity-based. The Real Story - Defense Technical Information Center. Islamic chat room posted a twenty-six- minute video clip infiltrated terrorist networks via chat rooms and then monthly. In this labour of love, Susan Morgan has excavated Anna Leonowens’s intentionally buried family history and identity. She compels the reader of her definitive book on Leonowens, Bombay Anna: The Real Story and Remarkable Adventures of The King and I Governess, to contemplate, not just the motivations behind Anna Leonowens’s decision to repeatedly reconstitute her identity, but also to consider what makes up an individual’s identity and how biographers might write about it.

If you thought you knew the story of Anna inThe King and I,think again. Anna was born a poor, mixed-race army brat in India, and what followed is an extraordinary nineteenth-century story of savvy self-invention, wild adventure, and far-reaching influence. eISBN: 978-0-523399-6. Anna’s schoolroom in the palace complex was the marble-floored grand hall of one of the many temples-Wat Khoon Chom Manda Thai, Temple of the Mothers of the Free.

com Product Description (ISBN 0520252268, Hardcover). If you thought you knew the story of Anna in The King and I, think again.

If you thought you knew the story of Anna in The King and I, think again. As this riveting biography shows, the real life of Anna Leonowens was far more fascinating than the beloved story of the Victorian governess who went to work for the King of Siam. To write this definitive account, Susan Morgan traveled around the globe and discovered new information that has eluded researchers for years. Anna was born a poor, mixed-race army brat in India, and what followed is an extraordinary nineteenth-century story of savvy self-invention, wild adventure, and far-reaching influence. At a time when most women stayed at home, Anna Leonowens traveled all over the world, witnessed some of the most fascinating events of the Age of Empire, and became a well-known travel writer, journalist, teacher, and lecturer. She remains the one and only foreigner to have spent significant time inside the royal harem of Siam. She emigrated to the United States, crossed all of Russia on her own just before the revolution, and moved to Canada, where she publicly defended the rights of women and the working class. The book also gives an engrossing account of how and why Anna became an icon of American culture in The King and I and its many adaptations.
Reviews: 7
Hidden Winter
It's a dry book of non fiction - basically a biography. I bought it because Anna is in my bloodline and I wanted to learn more about her, knowing "Anna and the King of Siam" was largely a work of fiction. It turns out Anna was nevertheless an extraordinary woman, well ahead of her time regarding the role of women in society.
Landarn
Susan Morgan clearly loves Anna Leonowens.
Much of what Morgan brings to the table is new and insightful, especially historic details about Anna's early life. She has fleshed out what was discovered by W.S. Bristowe in researching his 1976 book, LOUIS AND THE KING OF SIAM, about the life of Anna's son Louis Leonowens. In a chapter called ANNA UNVEILED, Bristowe presents for the first time, the basic truth about Anna's birth place, birthdate and background, all in India. Morgan tells us "that there is almost no information about Anna Harriet Edwards early years" then proceeds to go about creating a mythic young Anna, running about barefoot in dusty bazaars, helping her mother with the laundry in the river and sleeping with other "half caste" children, "in piles like puppies".
She then introduces us to a teenage Anna, devouring her books, self educating herself in Hindi, Persian, and Sanscrit, and finally finding love and marriage with a dashing young clerk. When the marriage ends with the death of her husband, Anna creates a new identity, moves to Singapore with her two young children and opens up a financially unsuccessful kindergarten in her home.
The king of Siam requests an English teacher for his older children and after sending her daughter off to school in England, Anna moves to Bangkok with her son and stays for about five years.
Much of Ms. Morgan's account of this part of Anna's life is strange. Although Anna stated in her books that the contents were true, many learned historians have doubted the veracity of Anna's accounts in the palace, including Prince Damrong, one of Anna's own students. However, in her defence of Anna, Morgan discounts them all with a wave of her pen. She allows Anna's lies to become "tales". In a high handed manner, she says "There is no plausable justification for reading Anna's two books about Siam literally and then casitgating her for getting the facts wrong". Why not? Truth is the point of a biographical work. She goes on to say "It is obvious that her books are immaginative visions of Siam, and that many of the incidents she depicts are exaggerations". Ms. Morgan appears to have such a high regard for Anna Leonowens, that she arbitrarily filters facts to bolster her own "immaginative visions". Taking her quotations out of context, Ms. Morgan has bent other author's quotations to her own purpose. For example, Ruth Adams Knight, in her biography of Princess Rudivoravan quotes her as saying, "King Mongkut was an excessively modest man. The Chow Chorm Kien (one of King Mongkut's chief wives)said if he began to punish one of his household - and whippings were not too unusual in those days - the girl had only to tear open her bodice, and His Majesty would stride away in confusion". Ms. Morgan, once again, chooses to quote only "whippings were not too unusual in those days", ignoring the full quotation to support her own position.
It is regrettable that exaggeration, outright lies, and selective quotes seem to have become the hallmark of the Anna Leonowens story. Unfortunately, the central core of Ms. Morgan's book does absolutely nothing to clarify an already confusing narrative regarding Anna's time in Siam. Her self-serving position only perpetuates an erronious myth.
Kemath
Bombay Anna has provided a wonderful glimpse into the history and culture of Asia though the life of Anna Leonowen. Morgan's book is not only a well-researched, but also insightfully written. While Americans were embroiled in a horrendous civil war, the king of Siam - with Anna's help - was busy holding back British and French colonial powers and managing to calm powerful Thai nobles through the unusual 'Nang Harm' population of women within the Inner City.
SupperDom
interesting book
Xava
The amount of research that went into this book is pretty amazing. There are a lot of suppositions but also lots of research. We thought we knew Anna but this book tells all! I found it fascinating. sb
roternow
Well written and well researched this is a must read for anyone who sat entranced by the King and I or who has an interest in the real lives of Victorian women.
Perongafa
Who would have considered the origins of Bombay Anna - and the possible influence upon the Thai nation. An in depth and fascinating factual account.
The mailing envelope for the book was clearly used. I opened it in my car and got a shower of
gray insulating material that wouldn't have disintegrated when the envelope was new. The book was just fine. Hope this will be taken more as a "heads up" than anything else. New envelopes matter.