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.
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Tasha Tudor (illustrator) 5 out of 5 stars Little Sara Crewe is wealthy heiress, and she is treated like a princess at Miss Minchin’s boarding school for girls. Her father loses all his money and dies abroad, so Sara is forced to work as a servant. But she never stops behaving like a noble princess with kindness and generosity to everyone.
I always love rereading this book. Sara has such a gentle personality, and she’s so intelligent and adorable. I love how imaginative she is and how she is always making up stories and living inside her head. She has a marvelous intuition about people around her, and she can see through their facades right to their heart.
I loved finding out more about this author’s life! What an interesting character she had! I love that she had such an independent spirit in a time when women didn’t enjoy much freedom. “I do what I want” seems to have been her motto.
She wrote about 60 novels and over a hundred short stories, but most of them are out of print these days. I love her books, and I’m always searching for those obscure out-of-print editions. Continue reading →
Of course, after I filmed this, I thought of about 20 more authors that I ought to have included in my list! And then I started thinking that I ought to have re-ordered them differently with some authors higher or lower on the list. It’s just too hard to choose!
Here are a few authors that also bear mentioning, but didn’t quite make the cut for this list…
D. J. McHale
Frank L. Baum
M. I. McAllister