04/04/2004

A Little Princess (by Frances Hodgson Burnett)


This is a children's book by Frances Hodgson Burnett, which I find more appealing as an adult! It's a charming book set in Victorian England, first published in 1905.

Sara Crewe is sent to Miss Minchin's Academy as her father works in India, and she is motherless. It nearly breaks both of their hearts to part, but India was considered very bad for children. Sara is eight years old, and a delightful child: wealthy and much-loved, but not spoiled. She befriends the class dunce and a kitchen-maid, and is disliked by Miss Minchin.

Disaster strikes part-way through the book leaving Sara penniless, and badly-treated. However her integrity (which is almost too good to be true) shines through her hardships leading to some very moving weepy moments. There's an inevitable satisfying conclusion after a somewhat unlikely coincidence; all in all a lovely book.

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