Book Review: The Making of a Marchioness

The Making of a Marchioness by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Making of a Marchioness
by Frances Hodgson BurnettC.D. Williams (Illustrator)
3 out of 5 stars

Emily is an assistant to the rich high-class ladies in London, making her living by planning parties, running errands, and doing little things that no one else wants to do. She lives in a small apartment where she is good friends with her landlady, Mrs. Cupp. Emily is hired to help entertain at a country manor and organize the yearly fête for the village children. She befriends one of the guests, Lady Agatha, and encourages her to attract the attention of the most eligible rich bachelor at the manor, Lord Walderhurst. But his lordship seems unimpressed with any of the single ladies present, until he reveals his true feelings to the one woman who has caught his fancy.

I do enjoy this author’s writing style and the charm of the setting, but I didn’t really like this plot. It was pretty obvious who Lord Walderhurst was going to end up with, and I didn’t like the way the romance unfolded.

I also didn’t really like the characters. They are all rather shallow and drab. Emily is so perfect and so self-sacrificing that it got on my nerves. I wanted to like her, but she is so completely angelic that she doesn’t seem like a real person.

Lord Walderhurst is practically a non-entity. He has almost no dialogue, no personality, no charisma. He is taciturn and aloof with everyone. He admits that he is a selfish person, and he is looking for a wife who is unselfish. He is supposed to be the hero of the story, but I just hated him.

The supporting characters are made of cardboard. They have no depth at all. They serve their purpose to set the stage for Emily’s story and then they fade quietly into the background with no more substance than a stage prop.

However, I still enjoyed this story because I do love the charming writing style. It kept my attention and I read it all in one sitting! I would probably reread this book someday, because it just sweeps you away into this beautiful Victorian setting of grace and glamour.

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