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The Making of a Marchioness by Frances…

The Making of a Marchioness (original 1901; edition 2001)

by Frances Hodgson Burnett

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3421732,058 (3.76)13
Title:The Making of a Marchioness
Authors:Frances Hodgson Burnett
Info:Persephone Books Ltd (2001), Edition: New edition, Paperback, 328 pages
Tags:Persephone, read 2012

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The Making of a Marchioness/The Methods of Lady Walderhurst by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1901)



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The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett is a classic of children’s literature, and as such, I feel a little guilty admitting I’ve never read it. It’s true. I felt even more so and a bit foolish when I finally got around to reading The Making of a Marchioness. It seems wrong to have ignored such a charming story for so long. It is a Cinderella story for grown ups. I can’t quite believe I’m championing Cinderella for adult women, but there you are. I think perhaps that particular fairy tale gets a bad wrap. I’m a feminist, I get it, but there are times in a grown woman’s life that call for just that (I know because I’m having one just now).

Emily Fox-Setton is a strong capable woman in her own right who has her default set to happy. She is a character you can admire and one for whom you wish all good things. It may not be politically correct, but it does have the power to make you forget you’ve been working as hard as a scullery maid yourself and only just making it. Yes, it is a love story and yes she essentially becomes a kept woman. Is it a practical or wise thing? No, possibly not. But it makes her exquisitely happy while it lasts, and let’s admit it...it is nice to have things taken care of once in a while. There is nothing wrong with a happy ending, and when you can’t quite pull one off in real life—try fiction, it’s easier.
  ms.hjelliot | Nov 18, 2014 |
What an odd book. Two shorter books are combined into one volume, perhaps from magazine serializations? I'll have to go back and check my bio of Burnett. The first book is the story of how Emily Fox-Seton moves from genteel poverty to the wife of a Marquis. It gets going in the second book with intrigues and plots but then she seems to have lost interest in the last few chapters and wraps up many loose ends without much plot development. What is so odd is that none of the characters are made very likeable. She seems to want you to dislike them, in fact, so that, even as you start to feel Emily is rather a sweet thing, Burnett comes trouncing in with how childlike and stupid she is. Her benefactor, Lady Maria, is witty but without any feeling for anyone outside herself. The Marquis is pompous but not very clever. The Osborns, who stand to lose any chance of money with Emily's marriage, are a thoroughly bad lot. It was an interesting read but really made me wonder about whom it would appeal to. Burnett seems to have had a rather embittered view of life and society.
  amyem58 | Jul 3, 2014 |
That old term Charming applies to this book, and to Emily Fox Seton. A main character whose chief attribute is kindness, imagine that!
Great intro and afterword to Persephone edition, both point out the depiction of the Edwardian marriage market, and the tough realities of life for women of all classes actually. ( )
  annejacinta | May 26, 2014 |
This is a queer, strange little book. I was eager to read this because, like many people, I adore Burnett's Children's book. This book, of course, was to be more serious and adult. However, I was neither a sentimental romance or a melodrama commenting on marriage - but a strange mix of the two. At time I enjoyed it, and then, I would hate it. I'm still not certain how I feel about it. The ending was abrupt and odd and startling. It felt like it should have come on, but it didn't. I'm not sure I would recommend this book. ( )
  empress8411 | Feb 16, 2014 |
Short novella The Making of a Marchioness is a very good Cinderella-type story (5 stars). The sequel, The Methods of Lady Walderhurst, has a rather uneven plot, but I still really enjoyed it (4 stars). ( )
  kathleen586 | Mar 29, 2013 |
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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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