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Anna Harriette Leonowens (born Anna Harriet Emma Edwards; 5 November 1831 – 19 January 1915) was an Anglo-Indian or Indian-born English travel writer, educator and social activist.

She became well-known with the publication of her memoirs, beginning with The English Governess at the Siamese Court (1870), which chronicled her experiences in Siam (modern Thailand), as teacher to the children of the Siamese King Mongkut. Leonowens' own account has been fictionalised in Margaret Landon's 1944 best-selling novel Anna and the King of Siam, as well as films and television series based on the book, most notably Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1951 hit musical The King and I.

During the course of her life, Leonowens also lived in Aden, Australia, Singapore, the United States and Canada. Among other achievements, she co-founded the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.

SOURCE: Wikipedia