Margaret Landon (September 7, 1903 – December 4, 1993) was an American writer best remembered for Anna and the King of Siam, her best-selling 1944 novel of the life of Anna Leonowens which eventually sold over a million copies and was translated into more than twenty languages. In 1950, Landon sold the musical play rights to Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, who created the musical The King and I from her book. A later work, Never Dies the Dream, appeared in 1949.
Born Margaret Dorothea Mortenson to Annenus Duabus "A.D." and Adelle Johanna Mortenson (née Estburg) in Somers, Wisconsin, she was one of three daughters in a devout Methodist family. The family moved to Evanston, Illinois, where she graduated from Evanston Township High School in 1921.
Landon attended Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, graduating in 1925. She taught at a school for a year, then married Kenneth Landon, whom she knew from Wheaton, and in 1927 they signed up as Presbyterian missionaries to Siam (Thailand).
Between 1927–37, Landon raised her first three children while running a mission school in Trang and read extensively about the country. During her readings, she learned about Anna Leonowens, the late-19th Century governess to the Siamese royal family of Rama IV. When the Landon family returned to America in 1937, she soon began writing articles and then began researching material for a book on Leonowens...
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