Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett


Sara Crewe, an exceptionally intelligent and imaginative student at Miss Minchin's Select Seminary for Young Ladies, is devastated when her adored, indulgent father dies. Now penniless and banished to a room in the attic, Sara is demeaned, abused, and forced to work as a servant. How this resourceful girl's fortunes change again is at the center of A Little Princess, one of the best-loved stories in all of children's literature.
This unique and fully annotated edition appends excerpts from Frances Hodgson Burnett's original 1888 novella Sara Crewe and the stage play that preceded the novel, as well as an early story, "Behind the White Brick," allowing readers to see how A Little Princess evolved. In his delightful introduction, U. C. Knoepflmacher considers the fairy-tale allusions and literary touchstones that place the book among the major works of Victorian literature, and shows it to be an exceptionally rich and resonant novel.
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Let me just start of by saying that as a child, the film adaption of this book was one of my favorite movies to watch as a child. I remember everytime it was on TV, I would drop everything I was doing and watch it with my mom, no matter how late it was. Having said that, one can guess the exctiement I felt at finally getting around to reading the novel that inspired one of my favorite movies.

I went into this novel expecting it to be different from the movie, as most books-made-movies generally are. I tried to seperate the two because I didn't want to let my bias of the movie cloud the novel itself. So, after much determination to keep the movie and book seperate, I sat down and began to read, and let me just say, the book is every bit as good as the movie. 'Course, the two had some major differences. For one thing, Sara's doll Emily was Indian in the book, but I don't believe she was in the movie. Also, her father had bought her another doll too in the book. SOmething else that was different was how in the book, Sara was at Ms. Minchin's school for a few years, as opposed to the movie where she wasn't there for as long.

But, onto the story itself. Just as beautiful and heart-wrenching as the movie. I'm going to be honest, the movie always makes me cry. Yes, I am 18 years old, crying during a movie I've seen hundreds of times. But I can't help it. The writing was beautiful, though sometimes when Becky spoke I was like, "Whatttt???" Since she was not educated, she didn't speak so well, so it was sometimes hard to understand what she was saying. Sara seemed so much more strange when reading the book than she did in the movie. Not strange in a BAD way, just a little peculiar for a child of her age. She read a wide variety of books and had knowledge even those beyond her years would never have. She also had a rather large imagination. She liked to believe that dolls would come to life when they were alone in a room and would run back in their places when they heard you coming. Now, most little girls would find that fascinating, I personally find it scary. I have an irrational fear of dolls (Like porcelein dolls and stuff, barbies are okay xD), so that would not be a very comforting thought for me. They're just so creepy...

Oh how I hate Ms. Minchin! She's just a grumpy, miserable lump of a woman. Just had to throw that out there.

Overall, I was not disappointed by the book at all. I'm not really sure why I gave it 4 stars instead of 5. Though I really enjoyed the book, I didn't LOVE it like crazy. If I had the chance to talk to Frances Hodgson Burnett, I would thank them for writing such a magical, heartwarming story that is so close to my heart and has given me so many wonderful memories to carry with me throughout life for I know, this will alsways remain one of my all time favorite stories/movies. And always remember, everyone is a princess at heart:

“Whatever comes," she said, "cannot alter one thing. If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it.”  
In case you have never seen the movie and would like to check it out, here is a link to the movie's IMDB page for more information: A Little Princess
Also, below is a video of some clips from the movie. I couldn't find an actual trailer.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Aww, I loved this review! I read the book many years ago but don't believe I've seen the movie. Now I will have to check it out.

Danielle said...

You should definitely check it out! I own it on VHS so I watch it every once in a while :)

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