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Tag: audio books (Page 1 of 5)

The English Governess at the Siamese Court

The English Governess at the Siamese Court by Anna Harriette Leonowens

The English Governess at the Siamese Court by Anna Harriette Leonowens

1862 Anna Leonowens accepted an offer made by the Siamese consul in Singapore, Tan Kim Ching, to teach the wives and children of Mongkut, king of Siam. The king wished to give his 39 wives and concubines and 82 children a modern Western education on scientific secular lines, which earlier missionaries’ wives had not provided. Leonowens sent her daughter Avis to school in England, and took her son Louis with her to Bangkok. She succeeded Dan Beach Bradley, an American missionary, as teacher to the Siamese court.

Leonowens served at court until 1867, a period of nearly six years, first as a teacher and later as language secretary for the king. Although her position carried great respect and even a degree of political influence, she did not find the terms and conditions of her employment to her satisfaction, and came to be regarded by the king himself as a rather difficult woman.

In 1868 Leonowens was on leave for her health in England and had been negotiating a return to the court on better terms when Mongkut fell ill and died. The king mentioned Leonowens and her son in his will, though they did not receive the legacy. The new monarch, fifteen-year-old Chulalongkorn, who succeeded his father, wrote Leonowens a warm letter of thanks for her services.

By 1869 Leonowens was in New York, and began contributing travel articles to a Boston journal, Atlantic Monthly, including ‘The Favorite of the Harem’, reviewed by the New York Times as ‘an Eastern love story, having apparently a strong basis of truth’.She expanded her articles into two volumes of memoirs, beginning with The English Governess at the Siamese Court (1870), which earned her immediate fame but also brought charges of sensationalism. In her writing she casts a critical eye over court life; the account is not always a flattering one, and has become the subject of controversy in Thailand; she has also been accused of exaggerating her influence with the king.”

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Eileen Mchugh

Eileen Mchugh by Philip Spires

Eileen Mchugh by Philip Spires

Eileen McHugh – a life remade – is a novel about a sculptor whose creative life ended in the 1970s. She left no work, but now an archive of her notes and sketches has come into the possession of Mary Reynolds, who is determined to resurrect the artist’s life and reconstruct her work. She contacts people who knew Eileen as a child and as a student in London. She follows the artist on a hippie trip to Thailand. Via these partial memories, she recreates the artist and her work.

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Sir Gibbie

Sir Gibbie by George MacDonald

Sir Gibbie by George MacDonald

These are the adventures of Sir Gibbie through the Scotland moors. Not being able to read or speak, Gibbie survives on the streets without a mother and having an alcoholic father. Yet, he wins the hearts of his neighbors and helps others. Children and adults learn through Sir Gibbie self-sacrifice, honesty, and purity.

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The Hurricane Hunters

The Hurricane Hunters by Ivan Ray Tannehill

The Hurricane Hunters by Ivan Ray Tannehill

Here is the first intimate revelation of what the human eye and the most modern radars see in the violent regions of the tropical vortex. The descriptions of the activities of these valiant scouts of the storms are taken from personal interviews with military flyers and weathermen who have risked their lives in the furious blasts in all parts of the hurricane. The author has made a special study of hurricanes for over forty years. He has served with the Weather Bureau as chief of the marine division, chief of all forecasting and reporting and assistant chief of the Bureau, in charge of its technical operations.”

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Queen Sheba’s Ring

Queen Sheba's Ring by Henry Rider Haggard

Queen Sheba's Ring by Henry Rider Haggard

A famed archeologist, an aging doctor, and a young army engineer set out across the African desert on a great adventure. Professor Higgs is in search of new archeological discoveries, Dr. Adams seeks to rescue his kidnapped son, and Captain Orme wants to forget an unhappy love affair. Maqueda, Daughter of Kings, ruler of the Abati, enlists their aid to destroy the sacred idol of a neighboring tribe with promises to help the doctor rescue his son. However, the idol is a second great sphinx, carved out of a mountain. In their quest they can expect little help from the weak and cowardly Abati. The road is fraught with danger, wild beasts, valiant enemies, and traitorous allies, but their greatest danger is a beautiful woman whom it is death to love.

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