Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Making of a Marchioness

The second Persephone Classic book that I purchased and read was The Making of a Marchioness by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Unlike her well known children's books The Secret Garden and Little Lord Fauntleroy, this is a Victorian-era novel written for adults that follows a naive, middle aged, working class woman as she unintentionally wins a marriage proposal from a highly eligible Marquis and steps into a position of wealth and luxury.

The foreword to the book (which, I'll admit, I only skimmed) mentions how this has become a rediscovered classic that's sometimes taught alongside Jane Austen novels. I can see the parallels in terms of the class and society nuances they delve into, but I was reminded more of Wilkie Collins as I read this. The second half of the book takes a somewhat suspenseful turn, complete with sinister murder plots, that seems more akin to The Moonstone than Mansfield Park. But that's not to say it comes across as a dark novel. I found that the action veered into melodrama, and the characters into caricatures, just a bit too much to be taken as anything more seriously than a pleasant read from beginning to end.

1 comment:

  1. Oh I need to check this one out! Have you ever read 'A Long Fatal Love Chase' by Louisa May Alcott? It is pretty silly but hilariously so. ~Melissa



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