Sunday, March 12, 2006

A Little Princess - Frances Hodgson Burnett

Last week I read Frances Hodgson Burnett's A Little Princess. Burnett also wrote The Secret Garden (which was the only book of Burnett's I'd read previously) and Little Lord Fauntleroy. I was unsurprised by the virtuous nature of Burnett's heroine Sarah Crewe; she decides that she will act like a princess even in adversity - and she does face adversity, despite starting the book as the rich daughter of a widower who buys her everything. Interestingly, Sarah isn't a spoilt brat, even when faced with her father's lavish generosity. When she is at Miss Minchin's Select Seminary, she goes out of her way to befriend the girls who are despised and looked down on, including the scullery maid, Becky. For all its Victorian didacticism, however, I found myself intrigued and in suspense over how the story would end, and I now have copies of both The Secret Garden and Little Lord Fauntleroy on my library TBR (To Be Read) pile !

7 comments:

Tasha said...

A Little Princess was one of my favorite books as a child. I still have my copy of the version illustrated by Tasha Tudor, worth looking at just for illustrations. She also illustrated the edition of Secret Garden that I own. Lovely too!

You may also want to check out the Wonderworks film version of Little Princess. They did it perfectly like the book, so now I have the Tudor illustrations and Wonderworks film living happily side by side in my memory.

Michele said...

I've got a hardback 3-in-1 volume from the library (of A Little Princess, The Secret Garden and Little Lord Fauntleroy with illustrations by Gareth Floyd. I'll have to see if the library has the movie.

Camille said...

A Little Princess was one of the books I read over and over again as a kid. I was a girl who loved dolls and I loved her doll with all the clothes and accessories.

I would recommend the movie version directed by our lad, Alfonso Cuarón (of HPAPA fame.) It is a nice interpretation although they "happy ended" the storyline. http://imdb.com/title/tt0113670/

Michele said...

I may have missed something but didn't the book have a happy ending ? In that she was rescued from grinding poverty and oppression to be Lady Bountiful again - or is that not a happy ending ?

Kelly said...

I loved "The Little Princess" too. We used to play orphanage and I loved to play Miss Minchin (bad sign, I know--not to mention the fact my parents were not thrilled by the orphan games :) )

"The Secret Garden" is my favorite of the three. Just the very fact such a beautiful place could exist behind the garden walls has always appealed to me.

Michele said...

Kelly, you're scaring me... :-D

I confess I like The Secret Garden - I like the fact that Mary befriended Colin and that Dickon befriended them both... I also admired Dickon's way with animals. I missed the boys in A Little Princess (although I suspect there may be a surfeit of boyness in Little Lord Fauntleroy !)

Bie said...

A Little Princess - This story is a real classic with a magic that is unsurpassed in children's literature. It is a fabulous story of the triumph of human will, and good over evil. Sara has a definite personality and that is a good role model for any child. She stays true to her beliefs in being kind, mannerly, charitable and above all, to herself.

Young readers will find Sara a loving spirit to emulate :-)