wilderthan: ((Fujin) Won't understand)
[personal profile] wilderthan
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.


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October 2013

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