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Secret Garden

Secret Garden

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Secret Garden

valoraciones:
4/5 (16 valoraciones)
Longitud:
292 página
4 horas
Editorial:
Publicado:
Apr 16, 2013
ISBN:
9781443425070
Formato:
Libro

Descripción

Orphaned by a cholera outbreak, young Mary Lennox is sent to live with her uncle in Yorkshire. Sad and lonely, Mary is left to explore the house and the grounds alone, one day finding the secret garden that becomes her salvation. Aided by her friend Dickon and the kindly gardener, Ben Weatherstaff, Mary returns the garden to its former glory, helps her cousin, Colin, recover his health, and brings joy back into the life of her uncle.

One of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s most popular novels, The Secret Garden was originally published as a serial starting in fall 1910 in The American Magazine. Ahead of its time in many respects, The Secret Garden championed good health coming from healthy food, physical exercise, and a positive attitude. It continues to be a beloved childhood classic, and has been adapted multiple times for the screen and stage.

HarperPerennial Classics brings great works of literature to life in digital format, upholding the highest standards in ebook production and celebrating reading in all its forms. Look for more titles in the HarperPerennial Classics collection to build your digital library.

Editorial:
Publicado:
Apr 16, 2013
ISBN:
9781443425070
Formato:
Libro

Sobre el autor

Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849–1924) was an English-American author and playwright. She is best known for her incredibly popular novels for children, including Little Lord Fauntleroy, A Little Princess, and The Secret Garden.

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Vista previa del libro

Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

Birthday

Chapter I

There Is No One Left

When Mary Lennox was sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle everybody said she was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen. It was true, too. She had a little thin face and a little thin body, thin light hair and a sour expression. Her hair was yellow, and her face was yellow because she had been born in India and had always been ill in one way or another. Her father had held a position under the English Government and had always been busy and ill himself, and her mother had been a great beauty who cared only to go to parties and amuse herself with gay people. She had not wanted a little girl at all, and when Mary was born she handed her over to the care of an Ayah, who was made to understand that if she wished to please the Mem Sahib she must keep the child out of sight as much as possible. So when she was a sickly, fretful, ugly little baby she was kept out of the way, and when she became a sickly, fretful, toddling thing she was kept out of the way also. She never remembered seeing familiarly anything but the dark faces of her Ayah and the other native servants, and as they always obeyed her and gave her her own way in everything, because the Mem Sahib would be angry if she was disturbed by her crying, by the time she was six years old she was as tyrannical and selfish a little pig as ever lived. The young English governess who came to teach her to read and write disliked her so much that she gave up her place in three months, and when other governesses came to try to fill it they always went away in a shorter time than the first one. So if Mary had not chosen to really want to know how to read books she would never have learned her letters at all.

One frightfully hot morning, when she was about nine years old, she awakened feeling very cross, and she became crosser still when she saw that the servant who stood by her bedside was not her Ayah.

Why did you come? she said to the strange woman. I will not let you stay. Send my Ayah to me.

The woman looked frightened, but she only stammered that the Ayah could not come and when Mary threw herself into a passion and beat and kicked her, she looked only more frightened and repeated that it was not possible for the Ayah to come to Missie Sahib.

There was something mysterious in the air that morning. Nothing was done in its regular order and several of the native servants seemed missing, while those whom Mary saw slunk or hurried about with ashy and scared faces. But no one would tell her anything and her Ayah did not come. She was actually left alone as the morning went on, and at last she wandered out into the garden and began to play by herself under a tree near the veranda. She pretended that she was making a flowerbed, and she stuck big scarlet hibiscus blossoms into little heaps of earth, all the time growing more and more angry and muttering to herself the things she would say and the names she would call Saidie when she returned.

Pig! Pig! Daughter of Pigs! she said, because to call a native a pig is the worst insult of all.

She was grinding her teeth and saying this over and over again when she heard her mother come out on the veranda with someone. She was with a fair young man and they stood talking together in low strange voices. Mary knew the fair young man who looked like a boy. She had heard that he was a very young officer who had just come from England. The child stared at him, but she stared most at her mother. She always did this when she had a chance to see her, because the Mem Sahib—Mary used to call her that oftener than anything else—was such a tall, slim, pretty person and wore such lovely clothes. Her hair was like curly silk and she had a delicate little nose which seemed to be disdaining things, and she had large laughing eyes. All her clothes were thin and floating, and Mary said they were full of lace. They looked fuller of lace than ever this morning, but her eyes were not laughing at all. They were large and scared and lifted imploringly to the fair boy officer’s face.

Is it so very bad? Oh, is it? Mary heard her say.

Awfully, the young man answered in a trembling voice. Awfully, Mrs. Lennox. You ought to have gone to the hills two weeks ago.

The Mem Sahib wrung her hands.

Oh, I know I ought! she cried. I only stayed to go to that silly dinner party. What a fool I was!

At that very moment such a loud sound of wailing broke out from the servants’ quarters that she clutched the young man’s arm, and Mary stood shivering from head to foot. The wailing grew wilder and wilder. What is it? What is it? Mrs. Lennox gasped.

Someone has died, answered the boy officer. You did not say it had broken out among your servants.

I did not know! the Mem Sahib cried. Come with me! Come with me! and she turned and ran into the house.

After that, appalling things happened, and the mysteriousness of the morning was explained to Mary. The cholera had broken out in its most fatal form and people were dying like flies. The Ayah had been taken ill in the night, and it was because she had just died that the servants had wailed in the huts. Before the next day three other servants were dead and others had run away in terror. There was panic on every side, and dying people in all the bungalows.

During the confusion and bewilderment of the second day Mary hid herself in the nursery and was forgotten by everyone. Nobody thought of her, nobody wanted her, and strange things happened of which she knew nothing. Mary alternately cried and slept through the hours. She only knew that people were ill and that she heard mysterious and frightening sounds. Once she crept into the dining room and found it empty, though a partly finished meal was on the table and chairs and plates looked as if they had been hastily pushed back when the diners rose suddenly for some reason. The child ate some fruit and biscuits, and being thirsty she drank a glass of wine which stood nearly filled. It was sweet, and she did not know how strong it was. Very soon it made her intensely drowsy, and she went back to her nursery and shut herself in again, frightened by cries she heard in the huts and by the hurrying sound of feet. The wine made her so sleepy that she could scarcely keep her eyes open and she lay down on her bed and knew nothing more for a long time.

Many things happened during the hours in which she slept so heavily, but she was not disturbed by the wails and the sound of things being carried in and out of the bungalow.

When she awakened she lay and stared at the wall. The house was perfectly still. She had never known it to be so silent before. She heard neither voices nor footsteps, and wondered if everybody had got well of the cholera and all the trouble was over. She wondered also who would take care of her now her Ayah was dead. There would be a new Ayah, and perhaps she would know some new stories. Mary had been rather tired of the old ones. She did not cry because her nurse had died. She was not an affectionate child and had never cared much for any one. The noise and hurrying about and wailing over the cholera had frightened her, and she had been angry because no one seemed to remember that she was alive. Everyone was too panic-stricken to think of a little girl no one was fond of. When people had the cholera it seemed that they remembered nothing but themselves. But if everyone had got well again, surely someone would remember and come to look for her.

But no one came, and as she lay waiting the house seemed to grow more and more silent. She heard something rustling on the matting and when she looked down she saw a little snake gliding along and watching her with eyes like jewels. She was not frightened, because he was a harmless little thing who would not hurt her and he seemed in a hurry to get out of the room. He slipped under the door as she watched him.

How queer and quiet it is, she said. It sounds as if there were no one in the bungalow but me and the snake.

Almost the next minute she heard footsteps in the compound, and then on the veranda. They were men’s footsteps, and the men entered the bungalow and talked in low voices. No one went to meet or speak to them and they seemed to open doors and look into rooms. What desolation! she heard one voice say. That pretty, pretty woman! I suppose the child, too. I heard there was a child, though no one ever saw her.

Mary was standing in the middle of the nursery when they opened the door a few minutes later. She looked an ugly, cross little thing and was frowning because she was beginning to be hungry and feel disgracefully neglected. The first man who came in was a large officer she had once seen talking to her father. He looked tired and troubled, but when he saw her he was so startled that he almost jumped back.

Barney! he cried out. There is a child here! A child alone! In a place like this! Mercy on us, who is she!

I am Mary Lennox, the little girl said, drawing herself up stiffly. She thought the man was very rude to call her father’s bungalow A place like this! I fell asleep when everyone had the cholera and I have only just wakened up. Why does nobody come?

It is the child no one ever saw! exclaimed the man, turning to his companions. She has actually been forgotten!

Why was I forgotten? Mary said, stamping her foot. Why does nobody come?

The young man whose name was Barney looked at her very sadly. Mary even thought she saw him wink his eyes as if to wink tears away.

Poor little kid! he said. There is nobody left to come.

It was in that strange and sudden way that Mary found out that she had neither father nor mother left; that they had died and been carried away in the night, and that the few native servants who had not died also had left the house as quickly as they could get out of it, none of them even remembering that there was a Missie Sahib. That was why the place was so quiet. It was true that there was no one in the bungalow but herself and the little rustling snake.

Chapter II

Mistress Mary Quite Contrary

Mary had liked to look at her mother from a distance and she had thought her very pretty, but as she knew very little of her she could scarcely have been expected to love her or to miss her very much when she was gone. She did not miss her at all, in fact, and as she was a self-absorbed child she gave her entire thought to herself, as she had always done. If she had been older she would no doubt have been very anxious at being left alone in the world, but she was very young, and as she had always been taken care of, she supposed she always would be. What she thought was that she would like to know if she was going to nice people, who would be polite to her and give her her own way as her Ayah and the other native servants had done.

She knew that she was not going to stay at the English clergyman’s house where she was taken at first. She did not want to stay. The English clergyman was poor and he had five children nearly all the same age and they wore shabby clothes and were always quarreling and snatching toys from each other. Mary hated their untidy bungalow and was so disagreeable to them that after the first day or two nobody would play with her. By the second day they had given her a nickname which made her furious.

It was Basil who thought of it first. Basil was a little boy with impudent blue eyes and a turned-up nose, and Mary hated him. She was playing by herself under a tree, just as she had been playing the day the cholera broke out. She was making heaps of earth and paths for a garden and Basil came and stood near to watch her. Presently he got rather interested and suddenly made a suggestion.

Why don’t you put a heap of stones there and pretend it is a rockery? he said. There in the middle, and he leaned over her to point.

Go away! cried Mary. I don’t want boys. Go away!

For a moment Basil looked angry, and then he began to tease. He was always teasing his sisters. He danced round and round her and made faces and sang and laughed.

"Mistress Mary, quite contrary,

How does your garden grow?

With silver bells, and cockle shells,

And marigolds all in a row."

He sang it until the other children heard and laughed, too; and the crosser Mary got, the more they sang Mistress Mary, quite contrary; and after that as long as she stayed with them they called her Mistress Mary Quite Contrary when they spoke of her to each other, and often when they spoke to her.

You are going to be sent home, Basil said to her, at the end of the week. And we’re glad of it.

I am glad of it, too, answered Mary. Where is home?

She doesn’t know where home is! said Basil, with seven-year-old scorn. It’s England, of course. Our grandmama lives there and our sister Mabel was sent to her last year. You are not going to your grandmama. You have none. You are going to your uncle. His name is Mr. Archibald Craven.

I don’t know anything about him, snapped Mary.

I know you don’t, Basil answered. You don’t know anything. Girls never do. I heard father and mother talking about him. He lives in a great, big, desolate old house in the country and no one goes near him. He’s so cross he won’t let them, and they wouldn’t come if he would let them. He’s a hunchback, and he’s horrid.

I don’t believe you, said Mary; and she turned her back and stuck her fingers in her ears, because she would not listen any more.

But she thought over it a great deal afterward; and when Mrs. Crawford told her that night that she was going to sail away to England in a few days and go to her uncle, Mr. Archibald Craven, who lived at Misselthwaite Manor, she looked so stony and stubbornly uninterested that they did not know what to think about her. They tried to be kind to her, but she only turned her face away when Mrs. Crawford attempted to kiss her, and held herself stiffly when Mr. Crawford patted her shoulder.

She is such a plain child, Mrs. Crawford said pityingly, afterward. And her mother was such a pretty creature. She had a very pretty manner, too, and Mary has the most unattractive ways I ever saw in a child. The children call her ‘Mistress Mary Quite Contrary,’ and though it’s naughty of them, one can’t help understanding it.

Perhaps if her mother had carried her pretty face and her pretty manners oftener into the nursery Mary might have learned some pretty ways too. It is very sad, now the poor beautiful thing is gone, to remember that many people never even knew that she had a child at all.

I believe she scarcely ever looked at her, sighed Mrs. Crawford. When her Ayah was dead there was no one to give a thought to the little thing. Think of the servants running away and leaving her all alone in that deserted bungalow. Colonel McGrew said he nearly jumped out of his skin when he opened the door and found her standing by herself in the middle of the room.

Mary made the long voyage to England under the care of an officer’s wife, who was taking her children to leave them in a boarding school. She was very much absorbed in her own little boy and girl, and was rather glad to hand the child over to the woman Mr. Archibald Craven sent to meet her, in London. The woman was his housekeeper at Misselthwaite Manor, and her name was Mrs. Medlock. She was a stout woman, with very red cheeks and sharp black eyes. She wore a very purple dress, a black silk mantle with jet fringe on it and a black bonnet with purple velvet flowers which stuck up and trembled when she moved her head. Mary did not like her at all, but as she very seldom liked people there was nothing remarkable in that; besides which it was very evident Mrs. Medlock did not think much of her.

My word! She’s a plain little piece of goods! she said. And we’d heard that her mother was a beauty. She hasn’t handed much of it down, has she, ma’am?

Perhaps she will improve as she grows older, the officer’s wife said good-naturedly. If she were not so sallow and had a nicer expression, her features are rather good. Children alter so much.

She’ll have to alter a good deal, answered Mrs. Medlock. And, there’s nothing likely to improve children at Misselthwaite—if you ask me! They thought Mary was not listening because she was standing a little apart from them at the window of the private hotel they had gone to. She was watching the passing buses and cabs and people, but she heard quite well and was made very curious about her uncle and the place he lived in. What sort of a place was it, and what would he be like? What was a hunchback? She had never seen one. Perhaps there were none in India.

Since she had been living in other people’s houses and had had no Ayah, she had begun to feel lonely and to think queer thoughts which were new to her. She had begun to wonder why she had never seemed to belong to anyone even when her father and mother had been alive. Other children seemed to belong to their fathers and mothers, but she had never seemed to really be anyone’s little girl. She had had servants, and food and clothes, but no one had taken any notice of her. She did not know that this was because she was a disagreeable child; but then, of course, she did not know she was disagreeable. She often thought that other people were, but she did not know that she was so herself.

She thought Mrs. Medlock the most disagreeable person she had ever seen, with her common, highly colored face and her common fine bonnet. When the next day they set out on their journey to Yorkshire, she walked through the station to the railway carriage with her head up and trying to keep as far away from her as she could, because she did not want to seem to belong to her. It would have made her angry to think people imagined she was her little girl.

But Mrs. Medlock was not in the least disturbed by her and her thoughts. She was the kind of woman who would stand no nonsense from young ones. At least, that is what she would have said if she had been asked. She had not wanted to go to London just when her sister Maria’s daughter was going to be married, but she had a comfortable, well paid place as housekeeper at Misselthwaite Manor and the only way in which she could keep it was to do at once what Mr. Archibald Craven told her to do. She never dared even to ask a question.

Captain Lennox and his wife died of the cholera, Mr. Craven had said in his short, cold way. Captain Lennox was my wife’s brother and I am their daughter’s guardian. The child is to be brought here. You must go to London and bring her yourself.

So she packed her small trunk and made the journey.

Mary sat in her corner of the railway carriage and looked plain and fretful. She had nothing to read or to look at, and she had folded her thin little black-gloved hands in her lap. Her black dress made her look yellower than ever, and her limp light hair straggled from under her black crepe hat.

A more marred-looking young one I never saw in my life, Mrs. Medlock thought. (Marred is a Yorkshire word and means spoiled and pettish.) She had never seen a child who sat so still without doing anything; and at last she got tired of watching her and began to talk in a brisk, hard voice.

I suppose I may as well tell you something about where you are going to, she said. Do you know anything about your uncle?

No, said Mary.

Never heard your father and mother talk about him?

No, said Mary frowning. She frowned because she remembered that her father and mother had never talked to her about anything in particular. Certainly they had never told her things.

Humph, muttered Mrs. Medlock, staring at her queer, unresponsive little face. She did not say any more for a few moments and then she began again.

I suppose you might as well be told something—to prepare you. You are going to a queer place.

Mary said nothing at all, and Mrs. Medlock looked rather discomfited by her apparent indifference, but, after taking a breath, she went on.

Not but that it’s a grand big place in a gloomy way, and Mr. Craven’s proud of it in his way—and that’s gloomy enough, too. The house is six hundred years old and it’s on the edge of the moor, and there’s near a hundred rooms in it, though most of them’s shut up and locked. And there’s pictures and fine old furniture and things that’s been there for ages, and there’s a big park round it and gardens and trees with branches trailing to the ground—some of them. She paused and took another breath. But there’s nothing else, she ended suddenly.

Mary had begun to listen in spite of herself. It all sounded so unlike India, and anything new rather attracted her. But she did not intend to look as if she were interested. That was one of her unhappy, disagreeable ways. So she sat still.

Well, said Mrs. Medlock. What do you think of it?

Nothing, she answered. I know nothing about such places.

That made Mrs. Medlock laugh a short sort of laugh.

Eh! she said, but you are like an old woman. Don’t you care?

It doesn’t matter said Mary, whether I care or not.

You are right enough there, said Mrs. Medlock. "It doesn’t. What you’re to be kept at Misselthwaite Manor for I don’t know, unless because it’s the easiest way. He’s not going to trouble himself about you, that’s sure and certain. He never troubles himself about no one."

She stopped herself as if she had just remembered something in time.

He’s got a crooked back, she said. "That set him wrong. He was a

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  • (5/5)
    Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett; (5*)This was a sweet little story that speaks of the power of kindness, generosity and friendship. Cedric, our Little Lord Fauntleroy, is such an endearing character, so wise for such a young child. He is a perfect little angel of a lad. He's handsome, kind and caring. The reader cannot help but to adore this little guy. When he came into his fortune he was told by his grandfather's 'man' that he could have anything he wanted. Most little boys would want a race car or a spaceship or something else totally selfish but not our little guy. He only wanted money to help the poor and the needy. The Earl, his grandfather, was your stereotypical stone faced, heartless lord who has never loved anyone but himself and his now deceased younger son. But then he meets this grandson who is impossible not to adore. Cedric's innocent love for his grandfather breaks open the veneer of his stony old heart and makes an impact on the old soul, changing his life and consequently the lives of those who live under him.Another wonderful story by this gifted and beloved author.
  • (4/5)
    A character that I've constantly seen referenced but had never read. It is definitely a product of its time; slow to start and with an extremely dry wit that still caused my family to laugh out loud on several occasions (we read it aloud in the car). One of the funniest lines wasn't in the novel proper but in the authors biography "Her (Burnett's) adult novels are of a sentimental vein which is now thoroughly out of fashion."

    The language is a bit repetitive - the Earl's smile is almost always 'grim', and an alarming number of things are either 'gay' or 'queer'. This, combined with the earnestness that the lines are delivered with lead to my constantly appending the phrase "He said with a leering wink" to the end of sentences. At least until the children caught on and the 10-year old asked "What's a leering wink?" Regardless, doing so makes the book exponentially funnier, if a bit off-putting since the titular character is 7 years old.
  • (3/5)
    Such a sweet, sweet story. I am very late in life to be reading FHB but better late than never!
  • (5/5)
    I am always at something of a loss to explain my abiding love for Little Lord Fauntleroy, which must be included, along with The Secret Garden and A Little Princess, among the author's better known works. Extremely sentimental, with a somewhat more moralistic tone than that found in Burnett's other two classics, it features a child protagonist so angelically good that children everywhere might be forgiven for hating him.But despite its Victorian trappings - complete with English aristocrats, estranged and disinherited sons, long-lost (not to mention fake) heirs, and the inevitable triumph of the moral and "well-bred" over the deceitful and vulgar - Little Lord Fauntleroy is at heart a satisfying tale of family reconciliation, and the transformative power of love. Cedric Errol, the cheerful, good-hearted young hero of the tale, is able to bridge the differences, not just between the generations, but between the nations.Burnett herself was something of a bridge, born and raised in England, but living most of her adult life in America, and her familiarity with both cultures must have stood her in good stead while writing this tale of a crusty English aristocrat and his American heir. This may also account, in part, for my pleasure in the story, for at a time when few English children's authors had anything good to say about Americans (if they had anything to say at all), Burnett created a lovable character whose virtues - from the ease with which he converses with adults, to his democratic kindness and concern for all - were distinctly alien to British notions of childhood.
  • (4/5)
    Little Lord Fauntleroy is a sweet tale about a father-less, American boy named Cedric who finds himself the heir to an English earldom. The story is sorta in the vein of other classic books, like Anne of Green Gables, Heidi, Pollyanna, and Rebecca of Sunnybrooke farm, in which a sweet, innocent child generally makes people happy. By the end of the story grumpy people are made kind and ungrumpy. I guess you'd say Little Lord Fauntleroy is the male character take on that storyline. Also, Little Lord Fauntleroy (Cedric) is the anti-Tom Sawyer, because Fauntleroy is the perfect, gentleman child.

    Four stars because the plot is pretty straight-forward. No shocks or surprises. However, the story is very enduring. Just a sweet, comforting little read about a cute little boy doing nice things.

    On a personal note, while I enjoyed the story, I hate the title. The name Fauntleroy reminds me of Ben Stiller's character in "Meet the Parents" or Prince Humperdinck from "The Princess Bride." I wish Burnett had titled it "something something Cedric" for the character's real name.
  • (2/5)
    Today I picked up a very cheap copy at a book stall. I didn't mean to go and re-read it right now, but it seems I'm doing it =) Not as good as I remembered, but still not bad.
  • (3/5)
    This is a book about virtue. It would be a fun read aloud for the grands.
  • (5/5)
    The story is about a boy called Cedric, who lives with his mother in a fairly run-down New York neighbourhood in the late 1800s. He is a lovable child, who has a knack of making friends with people of all ages: from the local grocer to a bootblack who struggles to make ends meet. One day, a lawyer arrives from the UK, giving some news that changes their lives forever. Much of the book describes Cedric's gradual adaptation to a very different kind of life, and also the thawing of a crusty old man. It’s a children’s book, which paints a good picture of the contrast between aristocratic homes in England and the poorer parts of New York. The author was clearly comfortable in both cultures, and shows how different the two countries were, even 130 years ago. Well worth reading for anyone - child or adult - who likes this era of fiction. I re-read it in about three hours, and it made an excellent distraction from an otherwise rather boring flight.
  • (3/5)
    Little Lord Fauntleroy is a set book for my children's lit course, I think. It's the second book I've read by Frances Hodgson Burnett -- although I own A Little Princess too, and plan to read it soon. They all seem to start the same way, describing the child and then having a sudden change in circumstances, especially location (e.g. India to Yorkshire, America to , usually due to the death of a parent. In The Secret Garden and Little Lord Fauntleroy, there is some kind of amazing change in circumstance due to love or friendship -- in The Secret Garden, both Mary and Colin are changed, as well as Colin's father; in Little Lord Fauntleroy, the old Earl is changed while Little Lord Fauntleroy himself stays more or less the same throughout.

    I'm sure I would have liked it more when I was younger. I suspect when I go back to The Secret Garden, I'll still find some of the old magic in it. But I'm a little too grown up and cynical for the simplicity of the journey through this book. It's interesting, though, to think about what kind of children's book it is, what kind of things the author had in mind. Sentimentality, evidently, and a story that can interest a child in it, but still moralising throughout -- it's not as overt as some books for children, but it's there. "Literature should improve your mind" kinda thinking.
  • (5/5)
    The third son of the Earl of Dorincourt, Cedric Errol, is disowned by his widower father because he marries an American. The couple have a child; Cedric Sr. dies in an influenza epidemic; both of the Earl’s older sons die – and, guess what? – the American boy Cedric inherits the title. His grandfather has him brought to England to groom him for the position.Cedric is a paragon of beauty and virtue but, even though I tried, I couldn’t dislike him. “He was always lovable because he was simple and loving. To be so is like being born a king.”What a wonderful children’s story this is – and I’m so very sorry that I missed it a s a child. 4½ starsRead this if: you have a child to share it with (oh, do introduce him or her to Cedric!); you’d like a child’s view of the world of Downton Abbey; or if you value classics.
  • (2/5)
    A 'handsome little boy' with 'golden curls' is the son of a exiled Captain and an American woman, who has been living in reduced circumstances, when he discovers that he is, in fact, Lord Fauntleroy, and will one day be Earl of Darincourt in place of his grandfather.So he must go to England, where the grumpy and bitter old man waits, and leave behind all his 'common' friends. But before he does, he solves all their problems.And so the sickly sweetness begins. The boy is obviously perfect, not scarred by either the loss of his father or having played with the lower classes of New York, and at the same time can't possibly be spoilt by the money and decadence afforded to him. The Earl keeps his mother 'Dearest' from him, and yet he is still happy. He charms all who meet him. The mother is perfect as well. And the Earl? Well, surely he has to become perfect in the halo of this 'handsome little face'.I only made it through this because it was the only audiobook I had at the moment, and I needed some sound! There are about a thousand too many mentions of Cedric's 'strong, lithe, graceful little body' and 'lordly little red legs', not to mention his mother's 'sweet young voice'. It was so bad that if I'd rolled my eyes every time I heard some phrase like this, I would have appeared drunk very quickly. This book's descriptions must be a paedophile's ideal. The basic plot is highly predictable, the characters one dimensional (apart from the Earl, who at least starts off being interestingly bitter and miserable) and at the end I wanted to throttle the whole lot of them.Perhaps I am just a cynic. In fact, I know I am. And this pushed me nearly over the edge.
  • (4/5)
    Cedric is a good boy,and live with his mother.But his grandfather Earl don't like his mother because she is American.Cedric lives with his grandfather who is cool.But he become gentleman because of Cedric..It is very heartful story.Story is a little long but very interesting.Cedric is so good boy.And Earl become good,so it is please for me.
  • (4/5)
    Summary: Cedric Errol was for the most part a normal seven-year-old boy. His British father died when he was young, but his American mother and he live a happy, comfortable life together. One day, a lawyer arrives from Britain with some startling news: Cedric's uncles (whom he's never met) are dead, which leaves Cedric as Lord Fauntleroy, and standing to inherit an Earldom. His grandfather, the current Earl, is a nasty, cantankerous, selfish old man, who is still upset about Cedric's father marrying an American. The Earl sends for Cedric to come live with him in England, not for the boy's benefit, but for his own sense of pride. Cedric has been brought up to be unfailingly good, kind, and trusting, but how will such an innocent fare when given the privilege and power of nobility?Review: Well, color me misinformed. For some reason I had in my head that to be called "a little Lord Fauntleroy" was a disparagement, meaning you were acting like a spoiled brat. Turns out, the reality is pretty much the exact opposite. Cedric is almost preternaturally wonderful: kind, cheerful, giving, attractive, selfless, strong, trusting, and only ever seeing the best in people. He's essentially a male version of Sara Crewe from A Little Princess, but even more wonderful; even Sara was allowed one fit of temper. Cedric's extreme naiveté actually makes it somewhat hard to believe him as seven-year-old; in some places, four or five would have seemed to be a better fit. Regardless, this book - and Cedric himself - did charm me. Similarly to A Little Princess, the story is mostly one of the magic that being a good person can work in the world, and as morals go, that's not a bad one. My only real complaint is that Burnett transcribed her dialogue pretty literally, and gave all of her servants and rural people such thick country accents that some of their lines were almost unreadable. Apart from that, though, it's a sweet little story, predictable as all get out, of course, but not overly facile in its resolutions. Not quite as engaging as A Little Princess or The Secret Garden, but a charming little book all the same. 3.5 out of 5 stars.Recommendation: Best for fans of Burnett's other books, or British children's lit in general.
  • (4/5)
    This is a simple plot similar to Pollyanna only the main character is a boy. I loved this book for its depiction of what a child can be like; how each of us impacts for the better or the worse those we come into daily contact with. My eight year old daughter will love this book. I have added it to her reading selection for the coming school year.
  • (4/5)
    It's soppy and sentimental and idealises childhood in a totally unrealistic manner - and I still love it! Sometimes, it's nice to be able to suspend disbelief and decide that crusty old men can be indeed be won around by childish love, innocence and good manners.
  • (5/5)
    When I was little, two of my favorite books were A Little Princess and The Secret Garden (HarperClassics) by Frances Hodgson Burnett. When I grew up, they were still favorites. So a year ago when I was buying them for my little cousin, and I noticed "Little Lord Fauntleroy", I was astounded. How did I miss such a gem? The story of little Cedric who warms his old grandfather's heart is beautifully written and quite touching. There is also a lesson to be learned, as we watch what Cedric does with his newfound wealth. What would you do if you were suddenly gifted with such a fortune? This story is perfect for anyone who enjoyed "A Little Princess" or "The Secret Garden"!
  • (5/5)
    One of my favourite children's books ever. Fauntleroy is a young, American boy whose gentle mother allows him to be taken from her when he becomes the heir to a massive English fortune. His delightful, loving personality wins over his incredibly cranky grandfather and eventually reunites his family.