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Little Lord Fauntleroy (Puffin Classics) Paperback – 1 Dec 1994
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|Paperback, 1 Dec 1994||
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This is the story of a small, angelic boy from New York who is told he is the heir to an English Earldom and is whisked away to the English countryside where he begins to win over his bad-tempered old grandfather. When the boy's identity is challenged, his old friends from New York come to his rescue.
About the Author
Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924) was born in Manchester. She had a very poor upbringing and used to escape from the horror of her surroundings by writing stories. In 1865 her family emigrated to the USA where she married and became the successful author of many children's books including The Secret Garden and A Little Princess.
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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.
Four and a half stars, really.
When little Cedric finds out that he is heir to an Earldom, he must leave his beloved America with his Mother and sail to the ancestral home of his forebears. There he meets up with the curmudgeonly Earl (his Grandfather) who has already made his mind up to hate the child. However, little Ceddie is so sweet and kind that the Earl's heart is melted. There is a slight hiccup when a possible usurper to the title appears on the scene with his Mother but thanks to Ceddie's American friends who discover the woman is an imposter the hiccup doesn't last for long.
Reading this as an adult, I can't believe that an 8 year old boy would be quite so angelic and the way the author writes poetically about his golden locks and his big brown eyes really is a bit too much to believe. However, reading this to a child or for a child to read alone would probably be a really nice experience.
He could be insufferable but he's not which is the cleverness of the writing. A good read and I will look for more from this author.
It is a book that can be read by children and adults with equal interest. I read it as a boy and should have grown up like the boy in the book! Bit late now in my 70's!