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The Making of a Marchioness

by Frances Hodgson Burnett

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 Rupert Bunny 'Portrait of the Artist's Wife', 1902

ISBN 781903155141

Little Lord Fauntleroy (1886) and The Secret Garden (1911) are enduring bestsellers, but this 1901 novel is many people's favourite: Nancy Mitford and Marghanita Laski loved it, and some US college courses teach it alongside Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre.

Part I, the original Marchioness, is in the Cinderella (and Miss Pettigrew) tradition, while Part II, called The Methods of Lady Walderhurst, is an absorbing melodrama; most novels end 'and they lived happily ever after' but this one develops into a realistic commentary on late-Victorian marriage. 'Delightful... A sparky sense of humour combined with lively social commentary make this a joy to read' wrote the Bookseller. Kate Saunders told Open Book listeners that she was up until two in the morning finishing this 'wildly romantic tale whose hero and heroine are totally unromantic' (Daily Telegraph); the Guardian referred to 'a touch of Edith Wharton's stern unsentimentality'; the Spectator wrote about the novel's 'singular charm'; and the Daily Mail stressed the 'sharp observations in this charming tale.'

Also available as a Persephone Audiobook, a Persephone e-book and a Persephone Classic.

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The endpaper fabric is a 1901 figured cotton called 'Tulips', which is simple, cheerful and graceful; Emily might have picked tulips at Mallowe Court.

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Categories: Love Story    Victoriana   

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