Friday, December 10, 2010

The I of the "King and I" in Palestine


Anna Leonowens was born Anna Harriette Edwards in Ahmadnagar, India on 26 November 1831...Leonowens' father died before she was born, and her mother married an Irish soldier, Corporal Patrick Donohoe of the Engineers, who was later awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery in Bombay during the Indian Mutiny.

In 1847 the family went to Aden, to where Donohoe had been seconded as assistant supervisor of public works. Here Leonowens was taught by the resident chaplain and orientalist, the Revd. George Percy Badger, and his wife Maria, a missionary schoolmistress. The Badgers recognised the girl's aptitude for languages and in 1849 they took her with them on a tour through Egypt and Palestine.

And who else is now in "Palestine"?


...Anna Ardin, one of two women behind the rape charges against the WIkiLeaks founder, may no longer be cooperating with prosecutors, the Australian website Crikey reports...Ardin, who also goes by the name Bernardin, has moved to the West Bank in the Palestinian Territories, as part of a Christian outreach group, aimed at bringing reconciliation between Palestinians and Israelis. She has moved to the small town of Yanoun, which sits close to Israel's security/sequestration wall. Yanoun is constantly besieged by fundamentalist Jewish settlers, and international groups have frequently stationed themselves there.

So, was there an Arab conspiracy against Siam and Assange?


I found this book by Susan Kepner interesting and will try to read it.

And followed the links until I found this in "The English Governess at the Siamese Court" By Anna Leonowens:



Caron Dann said...

I'd be interested to know where you got this information on Leonowens. I have researched her for many years and my work is published in a book, Imagining Siam: A Travellers' Literary Guide to Thailand (a revised version of my PhD thesis), Monash Asia Institute, 2008. As far as I know, Donohue was never posted to Aden but was in Bombay. Anna claimed to have travelled through the Middle East with the Rev Badger and his wife at the time you say. However, it has since emerged that at that time the Rev was unmarried and, furthermore, the academic Susan Morgan says in her biography of Leonowens, Bombay Anna (2008), that Leonowens most probably made up her claim to have travelled to the Middle East and didn't really go at all.
However, there is still much to discover about Anna Leonowens and your information about the family living in Aden is fascinating. I'd like to know more!

YMedad said...

if you click on "true" you'll be transported to the Wikipedia entry.

Anonymous said...

Author: Caron Dann
She claimed to have gone to Palestine as a teenager, but it is doubtful as there are no records anywhere that she took such a trip. See Susan Morgan, Bombay Anna (2008). So the answer is: nobody knows conclusively, although after extensive research, scholars such as Morgan doubt she went there. It is thought also that may have made up a trip she claimed to have taken to Angkor Wat.