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The Making of a Marchioness/The Methods of…

The Making of a Marchioness/The Methods of Lady Walderhurst (1901)

by Frances Hodgson Burnett

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Emily Fox-Seton is a woman who has all the correct breeding, but no family and no money to go with it. What is a woman to do? In her Pollyanna way, she does very well, thank you. With all the wonderful clothing and scenery descriptions, this is like reading about Downton Abbey. A bit more subdued in the sex and drama parts perhaps.

Written in 1901, this book has its share of what we would call inappropriate ideas of the role of a woman and perhaps racial attitudes. If you can understand that it is a book of its time, you will enjoy it I think. In fact, although I rolled my eyes at some of the scenarios, in the end, it won me over with some excellent characterizations. Can't go into specifics or it would be all spoilerish. ( )
  MrsLee | Dec 15, 2016 |
Curious tale. I didn't find it as charming as the blurbers but I did enjoy it, especially the end. FHB has interesting comments about marriage and money. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
I am always impressed by Burnett's ability to write sweet stories without being twee or saccharine. This is what Edith Wharton would write on anti-depressants.
( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
My edition of The Making of a Marchioness is actually an omnibus containing both The Making of a Marchioness proper and The Methods of Lady Walderhurst; this set up has also been published as Emily Fox-Seton. It is also the natural setting for the works, which even the author admitted were really two parts of one whole. The first part, concerns Emily Fox-Seton, an impoverished woman of good family who scratches out a living running errands for others who don't have the time or the desire to do it. She makes herself indispensable, while living in fear of being too old to be useful. When one of her patrons invites her to a country house party to assist her, she welcomes the opportunity. There she shows everyone the true value of her good character and attracts a marriage offer from an unlikely direction.

The second part is Emily's "happily-ever-after" as the Marchioness of Walderhurst. But when her husband's heir presumptive travels back from India with his wife and her Indian nurse, things get interesting. Walderhust can't stand his heir, for good reason. But Emily can't help but try to befriend and help Hester, his wife. In turn, it soon becomes apparent that they wouldn't mind if she died in a convenient accident. Naturally, Walderhurst is in India on business for this part, making his wife easy prey. Will she live long enough for her husband to return to her? Will her tormentor earn their just deserts? You'll have to read on and find out!

Highly recommended. If you enjoyed A Little Princess or The Secret Garden, you'll definitely want to pick up this one of her adult works. ( )
  inge87 | Sep 8, 2015 |
The Making of a Marchioness by Frances Hodgson Burnett; (3 1/2*)

Frances Hodgson Burnett is one of my favorite children & Y/A authors. I love The Secret Garden, Little Lord Fauntleroy and A Little Princess is my ultimate favorite book for the young, bar none! So I was a little surprised to find that I did not actually love this book though I liked it a great deal.
I found it to be a beautiful period-piece love story. The main character is a strong woman.....for her life and times. She overcomes hardships in her early years and treachery later for the love of her life.
I do think that I will want to read it more than this once in order to appreciate all of the little nuances. (And I may appreciate it more on a reread.) In what seems to be a world of misery and chaos this mid-century novel provides a safe place to hide for a while.
I does have one weird moment but I don't want to spoil that for you. However in the end it all comes together.
I enjoyed the story with it's wee yet surprising twists & turns. I found it an interesting study of the times. It, IMHO, is not brilliantly written but it is a captivating read. ( )
  rainpebble | Aug 6, 2015 |
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When Miss Fox-Seton descended from the two-penny 'bus as it drew up, she gathered her trim tailor-made skirt about her with neatness and decorum, being well used to getting in and out of two-penny 'buses and to making her way across muddy London streets.
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The Persephone edition entitled The Making of a Marchioness (ISBN 9781903155141, 1903155142 and 1906462127) contains both The Making of a Marchioness and its sequel, The Methods of Lady Walderhurst and should not be combined with either single work.
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A two-part adult Cinderella tale, Emily Fox-Seton, a poor, distant descendant of aristocracy, accepts a serving position in one of their garden estates, where she is surprised to receive the attentions of the rich, eligible Marquis of Walderhurst.

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