Friday, January 7, 2011

Anna and The King of Siam

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DSC08900Anna and The King of Siam, published in 1944 by the John Day Company.  Illustrated by Margaret Ayer.


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DSC08900Whenever I find a treasure in an old and rare book shop or a favorite Antique store, I can't wait to learn about the history of the book.
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DSC08900It was like that when I found this beautiful edition of The King of Siam by Margaret Mortenson Landon.


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DSC08900In 1927 Margaret and Kenneth Landon signed up as Presbyterian missionaries to Thailand.  While living there Margaret read about Anna Leonowens who was governess to the Siamese Royal Family.  Here is a link to photographs of the family.
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DSC08900In 1937 after returning to the States, Margaret began her research into the life of Anna Leonowens.  The result in 1944 her novel became an instant bestseller.  


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DSC08900In 1950 she sold the musical play rights to Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammenstein II, who created the musical The King and I.


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DSC08900In this beautifully illustrated volume published by in 1944, you will also find Margaret Landon's story about how she wrote this book.  With serendipitous meetings and book discoveries her own story seems as magical as that of her heroines.
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DSC08900One of my favorite movies has always been The King and I.  I can almost feel how she must have felt seeing Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner dance across the screen to the music SHALL WE DANCE.
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DSC08900I have just placed this book in my shop For The Love of Old Books on etsy.

3 comments:

Linda said...

Just for a little while I was brought back to my childhood and the magic of books. Thank you.

Linda

Donna@Conghaile Cottage said...

I am your newest FOLLOWER here. I HAVE to follow because I am ALSO "Obsessed with Drowning in Old BOOKS!!! I have a library of them and REALLY Love the ones from before 1900 when they put as much creativity into the cover as they did the book! Oh and those timeless books...LOVE them!!! I too Love the book you have posted today and Oh That story is WONDERFUL! I am hoping you will FOLLOW ME TOO from Both your BLOGS... I am going over to join as a follower from your other blog too... Hugs to you,
Donna

Terra said...

Fascinating background. I am a librarian and writer and I too love old books.