I haven’t read any of Hodgson Burnett’s work before – not even The Secret Garden. I was quite keen to read this one, but found it quite difficult to find. In the end I bought it from Persephone – it’s a beautiful edition (not the one shown above, but one of their standard grey covers) with lovely thick pages.
I loved it – it’s a light romantic period piece. I enjoyed all of the references to fashion and the social mores of the day.
I can’t imagine any modern woman acting at all like Emily Fox-Seton – I’m sure we are all aware of our worth today and wouldn’t be so innocently accomodating (we would know when someone is taking advantage of us), but that just added to the pure escapist joy.
Here’s the blurb from one book seller …
Little Lord Fauntleroy and The Secret Garden are bestsellers, but the lesser-known adult novel The Making of a Marchioness remains a much-loved favorite among many. Unjustly out of print for years, this neglected classic deserves its place alongside Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre.
Part one, the original Marchioness, is in the Cinderella tradition, while part two, called The Methods of Lady Walderhurst, is an absorbing melodrama–a realistic commentary on late-Victorian marriage.
Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924) grew up in Manchester. In 1886, Little Lord Fauntleroy was a huge popular success; from then on Burnett wrote for both children and adults.