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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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3632029,902 (3.78)20
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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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 |
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 |
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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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