Anna and The King of Siam


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


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.


DSC08900It was like that when I found this beautiful edition of The King of Siam by Margaret Mortenson Landon.


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.

My creation

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.  


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


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.


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.


DSC08900I have just placed this book in my shop For The Love of Old Books on etsy.

The song for this post is Shall We Dance, and if you would like to peek at the scene from this wonderful movie, just scroll to the bottom of my blog and see my Ipod.

Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

What a beautiful book and story!!! Have a great week-end...m..

Mary Lou said...

Thanks for taking us with you through the wonderful pages.

Farm Girl said...

I have that same book! It was my Great-grandmothers. That is so cool and I loved reading it and I loved all of the pictures. Have you read Margaret Landan's other books on missionary life? So nice to see it on your blog and I will check out your used books.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What a treasure! I love old books like this and it is in great shape! Enjoy your weekend! ♥

Vee said...

I like the Deborah Kerr version best for the movie. The back story is so interesting. Makes me want to know more...

The Quintessential Magpie said...

I've not read the book, but I dearly loved the movie. But what a lovely book, Karen. Enjoyed viewing it with you.


Sheila :-)

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good morning friend,

Your eye for beauty and your extensive collection of fine books has inspired me over the last two years. Thank you for everything dear heart....I hope you know how much you have meant to me. Anita

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Oh Karen, YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW MUCH your comment means to me as I just finished reading it; Etsy shop is on my mind as well as other things, but YOU Have been so incredibly instrumental in RESHAPING how I think about myself. REALLY. Your professional eye and opinion have shattered all the negative feelings I have had about BEING AN ARTIST.....there is much to explain in what I just said, and my upbringing and background have a lot to do with a tainted view of myself as an artist. But enough is enough. We were meant to fly with the wings that God gave us, and He gave each one of us a set. All so different, of different brilliance, color and strength, but all the same, WINGS. Oh Somerset.....hmmmmmm....would they even accept my words since my photos are really NOT MINE? All Tumblr. I always assumed they accepted only ORIGINAL WORK. Frankly, I believe my posts capture people's attention because of the photos. So when I write for La Belle Inspiration, I have trouble coming up with images since my own photography is so poor. Must look into that....I THANK YOU PROFUSELY! I will check out Spoonflower.....Much love, Anita

Tina Eudora said...

What a wonderful book to find Karen! I also have always loved Anna's story, she was a bold woman for her times. Once while strolling around Mount Royal Cemetery in Montreal after visiting my grandparent's grave sites I came across Anna's final resting place. At the time I had no idea she was buried there and it was quite a surprise to come across her name.
Great post....
Have a wonderful Sunday Karen!
Tina xo