Little Lord Fauntleroy

Little Lord Fauntleroy

by Frances Hodgson Burnett


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Burnett's conviction that love conquers all is embodied in this tale of an American boy who is transported from 19th-century New York to the splendor of his titled grandfather's English manor.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780486423685
Publisher: Dover Publications
Publication date: 12/04/2002
Series: Dover Children's Evergreen Classics Series
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 172,226
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)
Age Range: 8 - 14 Years

About the Author

Frances Hodgson Burnett wrote over 40 books; the best-known today are The Secret Garden, A Little Princess and Little Lord Fauntleroy.

Read an Excerpt

The Connecticut countryside, 1849

The grave was dug. Carefully, Lucas Whitaker hammered small metal tacks into the top of the coffin lid to form his mother's initials: H.W., for Hannah Whitaker. Then he stood up to straighten his tired back. All that was left was to lower the pine box into the cold, hard ground and cover it with dirt.

But Lucas didn't move. He stared blindly at the double line of grave markers in the little family burial ground. There were the graves of two infants, his brother and sister, each of whom had died so soon after birth that Lucas could scarcely remember anything about them except the sight of their tiny, red fists waving in the air and the sound of their feeble crying.

Their graves were so small that the fieldstones stuck in the ground to mark their heads and feet were no farther apart than the length of Lucas's arm.

Next were the stones marking the place where Lucas's Uncle Asa was buried. Asa had died of consumption two years before. Soon after, Lucas's sister Lizy, just four years old, had fallen to the same dread disease.

When they'd buried Lizy, Lucas and his father had worked together in stunned silence, afraid to think about, much less speak about, the mysterious way in which the sickness could sweep through a household taking one family member after another.

That night Lucas's mother had clasped him to her, weeping. "How long shall I be allowed to keep you?" she'd whispered.

But the next to be afflicted had not been Lucas. He shuddered as he remembered the way the large, powerful man who had been his father had turned slowly into a thin, pale stranger, too weak to stand. Until at last Lucas, working alone on ahot August day, tears mingling with the sweat of his labor, had buried his father, too.

Now, standing on the rocky hillside by his mother's grave, with the raw wind of late February tearing at his hair and clothing, Lucas felt nothing but a dull, gray weariness. Since the death of his father and Asa, it had taken every bit of strength he had just to make it from day to day. He'd learned to push his sorrow deep inside somewhere in order to get on with the hard work that was always waiting to be done on the farm.

When his mother's cheeks grew first flushed and red, then gray and gaunt, when she began to be taken by fits of coughing that left her clutching her chest in pain, Lucas gave up trying to keep the farm going. He spent his days by his mother's bedside, watching her waste away just as Lizy, and Pa, and Asa had done. He coaxed her to take spoonfuls of tea and wheat porridge. Holding her thin shoulders as her body was racked with coughing, he thought helplessly that it was as if something--or someone--were draining the very life from her.

Desperately, he tried the only remedy he knew, filling a pipe with dried cow dung and begging his mother to smoke it. The coughing only grew worse.

One day, a neighbor by the name of Oliver Rood rode out to the farm and offered to take care of the animals. "I hear your mother's real bad sick, Lucas. I'll take the creatures off your hands for the present, and come back in a few days to see how you're getting on."

"I'd be grateful to you, sir," said Lucas.

Finally, the time came when he could no longer pre tend that his mother would live. There was nothing to do but stay by her until death came. When she was gone, he felt something rise in his throat, a mixture of terror and anger and grief so strong that he was afraid to give voice to it.

Summoning all the strength of his will, he pushed the feeling down and down . . . until he'd felt the way he did now, his insides as numb and cold as the rough red hands that grasped the shovel.

Quickly, he finished the job. Then, opening his mother's Bible, he tried to read, but the words sounded stiff and hollow and held no comfort. He closed the book. There were people who had told him to adapt the deaths in his family as "God's will." But, hard as Lucas tried, he couldn't understand why God would want such things to happen.

Other folks had told him disease was the work of the devil. Still others believed it was witches who caused illness. He shook his head, baffled by it all. People got sick. They died. That he knew.

There were no friends or family to join him in mourning. The closest neighbors, the Hapgoods, had sold their farm and gone west, where the land was supposed to be cheap and plentiful. Lucas hadn't carried word to the Roods, or to any others. Their farms were far away. They had their own work and their own problems.

Lucas was alone.

Copyright ) 1996 by Cynthia C. DeFelice

Table of Contents

1A Great Surprise1
2Cedric's Friends16
3Leaving Home52
4In England61
5At the Castle78
6The Earl and his Grandson108
7At Church141
8Learning to Ride152
9The Poor Cottages166
10The Earl Alarmed176
11Anxiety in America204
12The Rival Claimants221
13Dick to the Rescue235
14The Exposure244
15His Eighth Birthday251

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Little Lord Fauntleroy 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 43 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pay for a better version. This one has too many errors.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book as a child, and it is still one of my favorites. A rags-to-riches story written in the wonderful literary style of Frances Hodgson Burnett.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved reading this book.The plot was easy to get into.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The boy inherits a title and does well for those all around him. An inspirational story that deserves to be read and for people who deserve to be enlightened.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have long been a fan of "A Little Princess" and so decided to give Lord Fauntleroy a try. What a great book! A fun read for adults and children alike! I only gave it four stars because I thought the characters were somewhat two-dimensional, especially compared to those from A Little Princess. But still definitely a book worth reading!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Little Lord Fauntleroy is a charming book that teaches great moral and character values that often are lost in today's self-seeking, self-centered American society. I believe this book should be introduced in grade school or be read to young children by loving parents.
fyrefly98 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Summary: Cedric Errol was for the most part a normal seven-year-old boy. His British father died when he was young, but his American mother and he live a happy, comfortable life together. One day, a lawyer arrives from Britain with some startling news: Cedric's uncles (whom he's never met) are dead, which leaves Cedric as Lord Fauntleroy, and standing to inherit an Earldom. His grandfather, the current Earl, is a nasty, cantankerous, selfish old man, who is still upset about Cedric's father marrying an American. The Earl sends for Cedric to come live with him in England, not for the boy's benefit, but for his own sense of pride. Cedric has been brought up to be unfailingly good, kind, and trusting, but how will such an innocent fare when given the privilege and power of nobility?Review: Well, color me misinformed. For some reason I had in my head that to be called "a little Lord Fauntleroy" was a disparagement, meaning you were acting like a spoiled brat. Turns out, the reality is pretty much the exact opposite. Cedric is almost preternaturally wonderful: kind, cheerful, giving, attractive, selfless, strong, trusting, and only ever seeing the best in people. He's essentially a male version of Sara Crewe from A Little Princess, but even more wonderful; even Sara was allowed one fit of temper. Cedric's extreme naiveté actually makes it somewhat hard to believe him as seven-year-old; in some places, four or five would have seemed to be a better fit. Regardless, this book - and Cedric himself - did charm me. Similarly to A Little Princess, the story is mostly one of the magic that being a good person can work in the world, and as morals go, that's not a bad one. My only real complaint is that Burnett transcribed her dialogue pretty literally, and gave all of her servants and rural people such thick country accents that some of their lines were almost unreadable. Apart from that, though, it's a sweet little story, predictable as all get out, of course, but not overly facile in its resolutions. Not quite as engaging as A Little Princess or The Secret Garden, but a charming little book all the same. 3.5 out of 5 stars.Recommendation: Best for fans of Burnett's other books, or British children's lit in general.
rxr0324 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cedric is a good boy,and live with his mother.But his grandfather Earl don't like his mother because she is American.Cedric lives with his grandfather who is cool.But he become gentleman because of Cedric..It is very heartful story.Story is a little long but very interesting.Cedric is so good boy.And Earl become good,so it is please for me.
Shimeall on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a simple plot similar to Pollyanna only the main character is a boy. I loved this book for its depiction of what a child can be like; how each of us impacts for the better or the worse those we come into daily contact with. My eight year old daughter will love this book. I have added it to her reading selection for the coming school year.
Kegsoccer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When I was little, two of my favorite books were A Little Princess and The Secret Garden (HarperClassics) by Frances Hodgson Burnett. When I grew up, they were still favorites. So a year ago when I was buying them for my little cousin, and I noticed "Little Lord Fauntleroy", I was astounded. How did I miss such a gem? The story of little Cedric who warms his old grandfather's heart is beautifully written and quite touching. There is also a lesson to be learned, as we watch what Cedric does with his newfound wealth. What would you do if you were suddenly gifted with such a fortune? This story is perfect for anyone who enjoyed "A Little Princess" or "The Secret Garden"!
lunacat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A 'handsome little boy' with 'golden curls' is the son of a exiled Captain and an American woman, who has been living in reduced circumstances, when he discovers that he is, in fact, Lord Fauntleroy, and will one day be Earl of Darincourt in place of his grandfather.So he must go to England, where the grumpy and bitter old man waits, and leave behind all his 'common' friends. But before he does, he solves all their problems.And so the sickly sweetness begins. The boy is obviously perfect, not scarred by either the loss of his father or having played with the lower classes of New York, and at the same time can't possibly be spoilt by the money and decadence afforded to him. The Earl keeps his mother 'Dearest' from him, and yet he is still happy. He charms all who meet him. The mother is perfect as well. And the Earl? Well, surely he has to become perfect in the halo of this 'handsome little face'.I only made it through this because it was the only audiobook I had at the moment, and I needed some sound! There are about a thousand too many mentions of Cedric's 'strong, lithe, graceful little body' and 'lordly little red legs', not to mention his mother's 'sweet young voice'. It was so bad that if I'd rolled my eyes every time I heard some phrase like this, I would have appeared drunk very quickly. This book's descriptions must be a paedophile's ideal. The basic plot is highly predictable, the characters one dimensional (apart from the Earl, who at least starts off being interestingly bitter and miserable) and at the end I wanted to throttle the whole lot of them.Perhaps I am just a cynic. In fact, I know I am. And this pushed me nearly over the edge.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I’m 83 yrs old and reading Little Lord Fauntleroy took me back to my childhood. It was simply written and the message was very good.
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