How much of the book and movie “The King and I” was actually true?

Most historians believe “The King and I” is largely inaccurate, and we’re not just talking about the snappy tunes.

It is true that Anna Leonowens was the teacher to the King of Siam’s wives and children.

Fortunately, for readers and moviegoers, the King’s son didn’t invite Leonowens back to Siam when he took over the throne, so she made a new life as a writer.

Her stories were compelling and exotic to English readers, and they sold well. The country of Thailand, however, was offended because of their inaccuracy and lack of respect for their monarchy.

The books, movies, play, and the short-lived TV show, all based on Leonowens’ personal accounts, are still banned there.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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