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The English Governess at the Siamese Court

af Anna Harriette Leonowens

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
263378,034 (3.31)7
The English Governess at the Siamese Court, written in 1870, recounts the experiences of one Anna Harriette Leonowens as governess for the sixty-plus children of King Mongkut of Siam and as translator and scribe for the king himself. Bright, young, and energetic, Leonowens was well-suited to her role, and her writings convey a heartfelt interest in the lives, legends, and languages of Siam's rich and poor… (mere)
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» Se også 7 omtaler

Viser 3 af 3
The interesting thing about this book is, that it contains the real memoirs of Anna Leonowens, who was a teacher of the royal children of King Rama IV. However, many people doubt if she wrote her real memoirs. They believe that she mixes fact and fiction. Whatever may be true, I get the impression that her memoirs are real. That makes the book worthwhile. Only three stars, because the style of writing is quite old-fashioned and nowadays not really gripping. A historic document. ( )
  ReneH | Sep 26, 2013 |
Mrs. Leonowens experiences have been romanticized in a subsequent novel by Margaret Landon (Anna and the King of Siam) and in movies (1946 and 1999). If you start reading this book you should not expect to find a romance novel, a memoir, a psychological study, a gossip column, a rendering of royal palace grapevine talk. The book contains none of these things.

Rather imagine yourself visiting Mrs. Leonowens for tea on several occasions and asking her: 'What was it like?'
You know something of her background of course. She lost her husband when her children were still small. Instead of coming back to the civilized world like any normal woman would do, she went to Siam for 6 years no less! By request of his royal majesty the king she taught english to his awful amount of children and (dare you think it) the ladies of his harem. You shudder to think of her being there, a woman alone. You somehow question the sanity of the woman. Still, Mrs. Leonowens must be thought of as one of us, a respectable woman. And the position at a royal palace must be thought of as a distinction, even if it is a court in a heathen country. And oh, those people, the heat! You cannot imagine (but think you can) what she has suffered.
And so you have a morbid curiosity. To hear her say it.

And Mrs. Leonowens tells you how she came to be there, her journey, where she lived. What the country is like. How it is governed. What the people are like, what the social structure is, what they believe (they are not christians). What Siam's history is. How the king came to be king. What kind of ruler the king is. What the children were like. And yes, she did meet the ladies of the harem, and she tells you some of their lot in life. She tells you what kind of crops and exports Siam has. How they dispose of their dead. She tells you about his eldest son, named Chulalongkorn. She tells you about the king's grief when a lovely child princess died very sadly. She tells you something of her dealings with the king himself. She even shows you some of the king's letters. But she is very discreet. She tells you something of a most extraordinary structure in Cambodia (Angkor Wat she calls it).

They are amazing tales she tells. And she tells her stories well.
You think that Mrs. Leonowens' occupation of teacher suits her intelligence, because you notice how much she has knows about Siam, how much she has seen and heard. She does not spare the heathens in some of her more gruelling tales, but you can tell she also has an admiration of sorts for this strange country. Still, you thank the lord that you live in a christian country.
You cannot avoid noticing how tired she looks. Between the lines you hear how lonely it must have been, independent and headstrong woman as she is. And you are glad she is safely back in civilized country. ( )
  Bluerabella | Apr 8, 2013 |
English schoolteacher Anna Leonowens has traveled to Siam to educate the 58 children of King Mongkit. If she has preconceived ideas about the East, the King has similar notions about the West. But amid the danger of growing political unrest, their respect for each other slowly turns into something more. PG-13 147 minutes Jodie Foster Chow Yun-Fat
Flere brugere har rapporteret denne anmeldelse som misbrug af betingelserne for brug. Det er derfor fjernet (vis).
  cljacobson | Feb 16, 2010 |
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The English Governess at the Siamese Court, written in 1870, recounts the experiences of one Anna Harriette Leonowens as governess for the sixty-plus children of King Mongkut of Siam and as translator and scribe for the king himself. Bright, young, and energetic, Leonowens was well-suited to her role, and her writings convey a heartfelt interest in the lives, legends, and languages of Siam's rich and poor

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