Bombay Anna: The Real Story and Remarkable Adventures of the King and I Governess. This riveting biography shows the real life of Anna Leonowens, which 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 travelled 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 19th-century story of savvy self-invention, wild adventure, and far-reaching influence. At a time when most women stayed at home, Anna Leonowens travelled 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.
PublisherUniversity of California Press