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A Lady of Quality

Frances Hodgson Burnett

Book Overview: 

Set in late 1600's England, the story follows the life of a woman living an unconventional life. The loves of her life and all of its ups and downs are included.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Mistress Anne, were young ladies of gentle spirit.  Their sister had said of them that their spirit was as poor as their looks.  It could not be said of them by any one that they had any pretension to beauty, but that which Mistress Clorinda rated at as poor spirit was the one element of comfort in their poor dependent kinswoman’s life.  They gave her no ill words, they indulged in no fantastical whims and vapours, and they did not even seem to expect other entertainment than to walk the country roads, to play with their little lap-dog Cupid, wind silks for their needlework, and please themselves with their embroidery-frames.

To them their sister appeared a goddess whom it would be presumptuous to approach in any frame of mind quite ordinary.  Her beauty must be heightened by rich adornments, while their plain looks were left without the poorest aid.  It seemed but fitting that what there was to spend must be spent on her.  They . . . Read More

Community Reviews

I really enjoyed this book, and wish that Frances Hodgson Burnett were better known for her works for adults, much as I love her more famous works for children. I also wish that modern romance novelists would take a cue or two from Clorinda -- guys, *this* is how you do the fiery-beauty-who-will-...more

There's a reason why some great writers produce books that are almost unknown. This one - a novel for adults - is a far remove from the author's delightful children's classics 'Secret Garden' or 'Little Lord Fauntleroy'. It features an eminently dislikeable heroine, Clorinda, whose mother died gi...more

A larger-than-life heroine, drama, romance, villainy, dark secrets -- if all you've read of Burnett is The Secret Garden and A Little Princess, this book will make your head spin. This is one of my favorites of her books; it's not the best constructed, and yes, it's over-the-top in places, but that's what makes...more

This is a charming pastiche of the proto-novels found in early 18th century periodicals, written with only a few inevitable Victorian touches. The heroine, born in the late 17th century, is raised by her utterly disreputable father and his drunk hunting cronies; she wears boys clothes, rides like...more

I have very mixed feelings about this book. I found none of the principle characters likeable--and some I thoroughly despised (which in two cases is the author's intent). However, the main character is a selfish, shallow woman who we are supposed to believe matures into a "lady of quality" despit...more

Pause for a moment. Note the author.
Now to think to yourself, the author who wrote that sappy Little Lord Fauntleroy novel and brought us the darling but perfect Sara Crew in A Little Princess also wrote this book.
You're shocked, aren't you? I know. Me too. I kept double-checking in case I missed something.
You'd n...more

3.5
Un gran divertimento dai toni gotici, finché le virtù femminili vittoriane non ci mettono lo zampino.

I felt like this book was lacking in any real plot.

Full review at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

A Lady of Quality is a romance by Frances Hodgson Burnett, first published in 1896. If the name rings a bell, it’s because Burnett also wrote Little Lord Fauntleroy, A Little Princess, and The Secret Garden. Today Burnett is remembered for her children’s books, but she also wrote a lot o.../>A

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