A Little Princess

Overview

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"'If I was a princess—a real princess,' she murmured, 'I could scatter largess to the populace. But even if I am only a pretend princess, I can invent little things to do for people.'" —A Little Princess

In Frances hodgson Burnett's classic tale, Sara Crewe learns that deep down, being a real princess is an attitude of the heart. She is a gifted and well-mannered child, and Captain Crewe, her father, ...

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Overview

Tantor Audio&eBooks Include PDF eBooks

"'If I was a princess—a real princess,' she murmured, 'I could scatter largess to the populace. But even if I am only a pretend princess, I can invent little things to do for people.'" —A Little Princess

In Frances hodgson Burnett's classic tale, Sara Crewe learns that deep down, being a real princess is an attitude of the heart. She is a gifted and well-mannered child, and Captain Crewe, her father, is an extraordinary wealthy man. Miss Minchin, headmistress of Sara's new boarding school in London, is please to treat Sara as her star pupil—a pampered little princess. But one day, Sara's father dies, and her world suddenly collapses around her. However, Sara does not break, and with the help of a monkey, an Indian lascar, and the strange, ailing gentleman next door, she not only survives her sufferings but helps those around her.

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When she is orphaned, the star pupil of Miss Minchin's boarding school in London becomes a penniless, friendless ward of the cruel Miss Minchin.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
In this picture book version of the classic Frances Hodgson Burnett tale set in 19th century London, a little girl goes from riches to rags and back again. Sara Crewe is delivered by her wealthy, doting father to a boarding school for young ladies in London. Raised in tropical India, she finds London a strange place. And Miss Minchin, the owner of the school, is cold and meanspirited. Sara, who is kindhearted and intelligent as well as fabulously wealthy, quickly becomes the reigning "princess" of the school. When her father suddenly dies penniless back in India, Miss Minchin forces her to work as a servant. Despite being treated cruelly, Sara retains her dignity and her kind ways, showing herself to be a true princess. In a heartwarming ending, her father's best friend finds and adopts her, restoring her to a life of comfort. The wonderfully detailed illustrations reflect Ms. McClintock's visit to London to study late 19th century English clothing, houses and furniture. But it is more fun to read Burnett's vivid descriptions and imagine how Sara and the other characters look. The story does suffer from being abridged. The original, much more satisfying version could be read aloud to younger children and would be accessible to readers eight years old and up. 2000, HarperCollins Publishers, $16.95 and $16.89. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Joyce Schwartz <%ISBN%> 0060278919
Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924) was born in England but spent most of her life in the United States capitalizing on her British background with highly successful children's books, such as Little Lord Fauntleroy and The Secret Garden. Her Princess novel began life as Sara Crewe, a story she wrote for serialization in 1888 in the St. Nicholas Magazine. As this reprint of the ensuing 1905 novel proves, her very precious, very Victorian orphan tale still has legs. What child or adult could resist following the rise, fall, and resurrection of young Sara as, fresh from India, she is dumped under the thumb of a villainess worthy of Dickens: the greedy headmistress, Miss Minchin? Sara is, indeed, the perfect child. She befriends the friendless, regardless of social class or species. By using her vivid imagination, she turns garrets into palaces. Fortunately Burnett was skilled enough as a writer to make Sara's perfection believable rather than saccharine. Fresh readers of the book will be in for a great treat. To add to the pleasure, author information and a glossary are appended to the story. Reviewer: Kathleen Karr
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-This recording of Frances Hodgson Burnett's children's classic provides an entertaining and atmospheric introduction to the original. The abridgement allows for all the characters and their interactions to develop believably, but on occasion large chunks of time are unaccounted for. Lucy Whybrow narrates this version, and her clear rendition of Sara Crewe is a pleasure to listen to. Classical music adds to the enjoyment. Whybrow portrays the gently determined attitude, the sweet and charming manners, and the intelligent seriousness of this timeless heroine very well. With her father in India, Sara begins her life in England as a very rich boarder at Miss Minchin's school. When her father's business reverses and fatal illness leaves her an orphan and a pauper, Sara is determined to act as a princess in every way no matter how demeaned her situation. Whybrow captures her spirit, making this version a worthwhile addition to a collection that includes abridged versions of classics, perhaps as an inducement to young readers to try the original.-Jane P. Fenn, Corning-Painted Post West High School, NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

"I'm not sure I could have survived childhood without Frances Hodgson Burnett."  —Meg Rosoff, author, How I Live Now

"Instead of a rags to riches story, this is a riches to rags story . . . a good, girly read."  —Jacqueline Wilson, author, Best Friends

Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
There is a plethora of versions of this perennial favorite available, and the issue becomes which one to choose. This unabridged edition is accompanied by a "Forward" in which Nancy Bond recounts Burnett's early years of poverty in Tennessee. A born storyteller with a rich imagination, Burnett turned to writing at the age of seventeen. Originally published in 1905, her classic work tells the story of Sara Crewe, daughter of a the wealthy Captain Crewe, who is sent to live at Miss Minchin's boarding school in her father's absence. There, the domineering Miss Minchin defers to her wealth while secretly disliking her. When Sara's father dies and his fortune is lost, Miss Minchin reacts by having Sara become a servant and she is treated with scorn and derision by the students and headmistress alike. Then a family moves in across the street, Sara recognizes the furnishings as being from India, and begins to converse with the Indian manservant whose attic room is across from her own. When Sara finds extra food, warm blankets, and books in her room, she begins to fantasize about meeting the "Indian gentleman" she feels is responsible. Sara's reward comes when she crosses the street to return the "Indian gentleman's" escaped monkey and learns his real name is Mr. Carrisford. When he realizes that she is Captain Crewe's daughter, he tells her that her father's fortune has been restored. Happily she shares her wealth with Becky, her one true friend at the school, and goes to live with Carrisford. The cover illustration of this paperback edition is bordered with roses and features a pensive, wide-eyed Sara. Young girls still are drawn to this compelling riches-to-rags-and-back-again story, featuring a perfect heroine and a perfectly nasty villain. The text, though seemingly dense, moves with an engaging prose and Sara's predicament will keep readers hooked until the happy ending. Parents who select this title will discover a great family read-aloud. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey
From Barnes & Noble
Ostracized by the envious and less-privileged girls at Miss Minchin's Select Seminary for Young Ladies, seven-year-old Sara Crewe is devastated when her adored, indulgent father dies, leaving her penniless and alone in the world. The story of how Sara's fortunes change again, and how she discovers the true meaning of family, is a tale that has delighted children since its initial publication in 1905. Illustrated with a wealth of color and black-and-white drawings by British muralist Graham Rust, here is an enduring children's classic sure to enthrall youngsters aged 8-14.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781455894833
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 5/15/2012
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924), author of The Secret Garden, also in an Aladdin Classics edition, and Little Lord Fauntleroy, enjoyed wider popularity in her own time with both adult and child readers than many other writers.
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One



Sara



Once on a dark winter's day, when the yellow fog hung so thick and heavy in the streets of London that the lamps were lighted and the shop windows blazed with gas as they do at night, an odd-looking little girl sat in a cab with her father and was driven rather slowly through the big thoroughfares.

She sat with her feet tucked under her, and leaned against her father, who held her in his arm, as she stared out of the window at the passing people with a queer old-fashioned thoughtfulness in her big eyes.

She was such a little girl that one did not expect to see such a look on her small face. It would have been an old look for a child of twelve, and Sara Crewe was only seven. The fact was, however, that she was always dreaming and thinking odd things and could not herself remember any time when she had not been thinking things about grown-up people and the world they belonged to. She felt as if she had lived a long, long time.

At this moment she was remembering the voyage she had just made from Bombay with her father, Captain Crewe. She was thinking of the big ship, of the Lascars passing silently to and fro on it, of the children playing about on the hot deck, and of some young officers' wives who used to try to make her talk to them and laugh at the things she said.

Principally, she was thinking of what a queer thing it was that at one time one was in India in the blazing sun, and then in the middle of the ocean, and then driving in a strange vehicle through strange streets where the day was asdark as the night. She found this so puzzling that she moved closer to her father.

"Papa," she said in a low, mysterious little voice which was almost a whisper, "papa."

"What is it, darling?" Captain Crewe answered, holding her closer and looking down into her face. "What is Sara thinking of?"

"Is this the place?" Sara whispered, cuddling still closer to him. "Is it, papa?"

"Yes, little Sara, it is. We have reached it at last." And though she was only seven years old, she knew that he felt sad when he said it.

It seemed to her many years since he had begun to prepare her mind for "the place," as she always called it. Her mother had died when she was born, so she had never known or missed her. Her young, handsome, rich, petting father seemed to be the only relation she had in the world. They had always played together and been fond of each other. She only knew he was rich because she had heard people say so when they thought she was not listening, and she had also heard them say that when she grew up she would be rich, too. She did not know all that being rich meant. She had always lived in a beautiful bungalow, and had been used to seeing many servants who made salaams to her and called her "Missee Sahib," and gave her her own way in everything. She had had toys and pets and an ayah who worshipped her, and she had gradually learned that people who were rich had these things. That, however, was all she knew about it.

During her short life only one thing had troubled her, and that thing was "the place" she was to be taken to some day. The climate of India was very bad for children, and as soon as possible they were sent away from it -- generally to England and to school. She had seen other children go away, and had heard their fathers and mothers talk about the letters they received from them. She had known that she would be obliged to go also, and though sometimes her father's stories of the voyage and the new country had attracted her, she had been troubled by the thought that he could not stay with her.

"Couldn't you go to that place with me, papa?" she had asked when she was five years old. "Couldn't you go to school, too? I would help you with your lessons."

"But you will not have to stay for a very long time, little Sara " he had always said. "You will go to a nice house where there will be a lot of little girls, and you will play together, and I will send you plenty of books, and you will grow so fast that it will seem scarcely a year before you are big enough and clever enough to come back and take care of papa."

She had liked to think of that. To keep the house for her father; to ride with him, and sit at the head of his table when he had dinner parties; to talk to him and read his books -- that would be what she would like most in the world and if one must go away to "the place" in England to attain it, she must make up her mind to go.

She did not care very much for other little girls, but if she had plenty of books she could console herself. She liked books more than anything else, and was, in fact, always inventing stories of beautiful things and telling them to herself. Sometimes she had told them to her father, and he had liked them as much as she did.

"Well, papa," she said softly, "if we are here I suppose we must be resigned."

He laughed at her old-fashioned speech and kissed her. He was really not at all resigned himself, though he knew he must keep that a secret. His quaint little Sara had been a great companion to him, and he felt he should be a lonely fellow when, on his return to India...

A Little Princess Book and Charm. Copyright © by Frances Burnett. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Table of Contents

Foreword ix
1 Sara 1
2 A French Lesson 17
3 Ermengarde 26
4 Lottie 38
5 Becky 51
6 The Diamond Mines 67
7 The Diamond Mines Again 83
8 In the Attic 113
9 Melchisedec 129
10 The Indian Gentleman 146
11 Ram Dass 164
12 The Other Side of the Wall 178
13 One of the Populace 190
14 What Melchisedec Heard and Saw 206
15 The Magic 214
16 The Visitor 251
17 "It is the Child!" 274
18 "I Tried Not to Be" 285
19 Anne 303
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