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The English Governess at the Siamese Court

Anna Harriet Leonowens

Published by Fields, Osgood, and Co., 1870
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From Books: Bound To Collect (Newton Center, MA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

This is the very rare first edition of THE ENGLISH GOVERNESS AT THE SIAMESE COURT by Anna Harriette Leonowens, published in 1870 by Fields, Osgood, & Co., Boston, MA. The copy we are offering for sale today is in very good/fine condition. This book has ilustrations and photos contributed to it by the King of Siam himself. In the early 1860s, Anna Leonowens, a widow with two young children, was invited to Siam by King Mongkut, who wanted her to teach his children and wives the English language and introduce them to British customs. Her experiences during the five years she spent in the country served as the basis for two memoirs, The English Governess at the Siamese Court (1870) and Romance of the Harem (1872). Margaret Landon took Leonowens' first-person narratives and enhanced them with details about the Siamese people and their culture culled from other sources, and, in 1944, published the best-selling book, Anna and the King of Siam. Although her work was discredited by Thailand and was banned from the country until recent times, it was translated into dozens of languages and inspired a 1946 film of the same name and the 1951 stage musical The King and I. The original gilt and black ink decorated green cloth boards are in fine condition. There is a touch of shelf wear as one would expect, but the gilt on the front cover and on the spine are still bright and shiny and the illustration of a Siamese boat with black ink decorations are also still bright, crisp and clear. The boards have been very well kept with only very slight shelf wear to the lower extremities. The pages within and illustrations are themselves in very good condition with no writing or other marks. On the front pastedown there is a very discreet bookplate of one Andrew Strong White. There is some very slight separation between the pastedown and the first free endpaper. On the flyleaf a previous owner has signed his name along with what looks like “Dec 1870”. Other than this, the pages and all illustrations have no marks, creases, or tears. This is a book of interest to anyone curious about the historical background and accuracy to the 20th century versions of this story. Bookseller Inventory # 1050

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The English Governess at the Siamese Court

Publisher: Fields, Osgood, and Co.

Publication Date: 1870

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: No Jacket

Edition: 1st Edition

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We sell rare and antiquarian books published primarily in English. We specialize in literature, science, and philosophy.

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