Looking for...The Diary of Anna Leon Owens

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HEPZIBAH
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Looking for...The Diary of Anna Leon Owens

Post by HEPZIBAH »

You may be wondering who Anna Leon Owens is, but any devotee of the film 'The King and I' will no doubt of worked out she is the plucky heroin of the story.

The film 'The King and I' was based, loosely no doubt, upon the writings of Anna Leon Owens. I have a facination and admiration for women who stepped out of the social norm and niceties and had the courage - sometimes borne out of need and sometime sheer do and dare adventure - to travel to places that were pretty much unknown by the rest of world, and certainly very different to the world they knew.

I have tried over the years, although not with any great detective work, to find a copy of her writing. Certainly my own local libraries were unable to help and I have searched various book sellers - real shops and online - without any success. If anyone ever sees a copy of her writings available please would you let me know. (Can't afford to spend too much money on it though . )

Has anyone read her diary or other writings? If so how did she come across?


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Re: Looking for...The Diary of Anna Leon Owens

Post by Bullet Magnet »

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=vMQF ... r_versions

You will need to sign into Google with a gmail or similar account to get this e-book for free.
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Re: Looking for...The Diary of Anna Leon Owens

Post by HEPZIBAH »

Bullet Magnet - thank you. You have become my hero of the moment. Were you here I would share my chocolate biscuites with you. NAY - I would give you the whole box.

I've only just started with e-books so never thought to look there.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.
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Re: Looking for...The Diary of Anna Leon Owens

Post by Bullet Magnet »

Cheer's Hepzi' :up
Tin of Choccy Bikki's and a cup of Chai....Heaven.. :cool:

My Italian mate with a polish name has just gone off to do the music festivals round Europe, selling Chai and a smoke..
Left a 40 grand a year job to do that... Now that takes courage !!! :cool:
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Re: Looking for...The Diary of Anna Leon Owens

Post by timetraveller »

I'm in Thailand at the moment and, coincidentally, the film The King and I came up in conversation in a bar last night. One of the regular visitors was saying that it's really bad form to mention that film here as the Thais hate it and see it as a total misrepresentation of the old Siam and the Monarchy at the time. Unfortunately many Britons (including myself) love it, especially for the soundtrack. Yul Brynner didn't look too shabby in it either! So, bursting into a rendition of 'Shall we Dance?' is not the done thing, sadly. Happens all time though apparently.

Hope you find your book Hepz. :)

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Re: Looking for...The Diary of Anna Leon Owens

Post by HEPZIBAH »

timetraveller wrote:I'm in Thailand at the moment and, coincidentally, the film The King and I came up in conversation in a bar last night. One of the regular visitors was saying that it's really bad form to mention that film here as the Thais hate it and see it as a total misrepresentation of the old Siam and the Monarchy at the time. Unfortunately many Britons (including myself) love it, especially for the soundtrack. Yul Brynner didn't look too shabby in it either! So, bursting into a rendition of 'Shall we Dance?' is not the done thing, sadly. Happens all time though apparently.

Hope you find your book Hepz. :)

It's not surprising the Thai's hate the film 'The King and I' really. The 1956 Yul Brynner & Deborah Kerr musical was a beautiful piece of Hollywood but once you scratch below the glitter all it does is make everyone - Thai's and British - look pretty stupid. The 1999 film 'Anna and the King' with Jodi Foster and Yun-Fat Chow was perhaps a bit more 'political' and certainly worth watching, but it still left a lot to be desired I feel. Perhaps when I've read Anna Leon Owens account of things I may have a better understanding - I hope so!
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Re: Looking for...The Diary of Anna Leon Owens

Post by timetraveller »

Not really about them 'looking stupid' Hepz. The Siamese, apparently through diplomacy more than anything else successfully resisted colonisation by Western powers such as the British during an era when the British Empire was a powerful force. Modern day Thais are very proud of that fact. I don't personally think that either version of the story portrays the King as a weak ruler per se. The 'weakness' if you choose to see it as such was in the implied physical and emotional attraction towards a high class English lady, the personification of Colonialism, in a sense. A relationship which would, if consummated, have been considered completely unacceptable by both societies. Seen in that context it's a sad story really. Would be interesting to know if there really is any truth in it. An inspired Musical though, whatever the extent of it's factual basis. :)

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Re: Looking for...The Diary of Anna Leon Owens

Post by timetraveller »

Not really about them 'looking stupid' Hepz. The Siamese, apparently through diplomacy more than anything else successfully resisted colonisation by Western powers such as the British during an era when the British Empire was a powerful force. Modern day Thais are very proud of that fact. I don't personally think that either version of the story portrays the King as a weak ruler per se. The 'weakness' if you choose to see it as such was in the implied physical and emotional attraction towards a high class English lady, the personification of Colonialism, in a sense. A relationship which would, if consummated, have been considered completely unacceptable by both societies. Seen in that context it's a sad story really. Would be interesting to know if there really is any truth in it. An inspired Musical though, whatever the extent of it's factual basis. :)

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