Anna Leonowens: A Life Beyond the King and I


154 pages
Contains Photos, Maps, Bibliography
ISBN 0-919001-69-6
DDC 823'.8





Reviewed by Lori McLeod

Lori McLeod is a librarian with the Toronto Public Library.


Many have been charmed by the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The King
and I. Owing to the musical and the subsequent film, people tend to be
preoccupied with Leonowens’s years as the governess of the King of
Siam’s 64 children. How many people are aware of her life beyond the
Siamese court? How many realize that she lived in Canada for 40 years?

Dow tries to redress this situation by exploring Anna’s early years
and by presenting her many other accomplishments. This remarkable
Victorian woman was a sought-after lecturer, a journalist, an author, an
Oriental scholar and linguist, and a social activist. In this
well-researched book, Dow presents a more complete and objective look at
her life. It is hoped that the book will renew interest in this
fascinating woman who made Canada her home.


Dow, Leslie Smith., “Anna Leonowens: A Life Beyond the King and I,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 12, 2024,