Anna Leonowens Biography
(British Travel Writer, Educator, and Social Activist)
Birthday: November 5, 1834 (Scorpio)
Born In: Ahmednagar, India
Anna Leonowens was a British travel writer, governess, educator and social activist. She was employed by King Mongkut of Siam, for teaching his children, which included his son Prince Chulalongkorn, who succeeded him. Anna Leonowens was born and raised in India. She later married Thomas Leon Owens, who worked as a clerk. They went to Australia, where they spent several years. Later, in Malaysia, her husband passed away due to stroke. Thereafter, Anna moved to Singapore, and operated a school till 1862. Eventually she received an invitation from King Mongkut, to serve as a tutor to his children. She agreed, and therefore, she became a part of the royal household in Bangkok. She not only instructed Mongkut’s children, but was also his advisor regarding relations to the West. Later, she also lived in the US, Canada and Germany. During the later years of her life, she worked as a lecturer and a suffragist. Throughout her life, she became quite well-known for her memoirs such as ‘The English Governess at the Siamese Court’, which revolved around her experiences in Siam (known today as Thailand). Her adventures in Siam was also fictionalized in the novel ‘Anna and the King of Siam’, a best-seller by Margaret Landon.