Anna Leonowens

Writer from United Kingdom

Anna Leonowens (26 November 1831 – 19 January 1915) was an English travel writer, educator, and social activist. She worked in Siam from 1862 to 1868, where she taught the wives and children of Mongkut, king of Siam. She also co-founded the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Leonowens's experiences in Siam were fictionalised in Margaret Landon's 1944 bestselling novel Anna and the King of Siam and in various films and television miniseries based on the book, most notably Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1951 hit musical The King and I. Anna Leonowens was born Anna Harriette Edwards in Ahmadnagar, India on 5 November 1831. She was the second daughter of Sergeant Thomas Edwards of the Sappers and Miners, a former London cabinetmaker, and his Anglo-Indian wife, Mary Anne Glasscott, daughter of a lieutenant in the Bombay Army. For most of her adult life, Anna Edwards was estranged from her family and took pains to disguise her modest origins by writing that she had been born a Crawford in Caernarfon and giving her father's rank as captain. By doing so, she protected not only herself but her children, who would have had greater opportunities if their mixed-race heritage remained unknown.  ( Wikipedia article )


Personal facts

Known as
Anna Harriette Edwards
Date of birth
Place of birth
United Kingdom
Louis T. Leonowens
Eliza Julia Edwards
Teacher, Writer, Governess


Date of death
Place of death

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