Bombay Anna: The Real Story and Remarkable Adventures of the ‘King and I’ Governess by Susan Morgan [in Christian Science Monitor]
Immortalized by Deborah Kerr, Anna Leonowens – yes, that Anna, the one who taught the children of the King of Siam – was, without a doubt, a remarkable character. Unfortunately, her story remains buried in Susan Morgan’s overwritten Bombay Anna: The Real Story and Remarkable Adventures of the ‘King and I’ Governess.
Previous biographies have presented Leonowens as a genteel, upper-class British woman who faced tragic loss before she became the beloved governess to the children of the King of Siam. Leonowens herself held fast to those claims throughout her life.
But Anna’s “factual origins,” Morgan explains, were hardly genteel or even very British. She was born Anna Harriett Emma Edwards on November 26, 1831, in Ahmednuggar, India, to a British soldier and his teenaged Anglo-Indian orphan wife. Leonowens grew up in Army barracks amid a multicultural mix of many races and languages. … [click here for more]