The Lost Prince Frances Hodgson Burnett


Published: 1915


415 pages


The Lost Prince  by  Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Lost Prince by Frances Hodgson Burnett
1915 | Hardcover | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, ZIP | 415 pages | ISBN: | 10.72 Mb

Marco is a 12 year old boy raised by his father and his fathers devoted servant. They live in dingy little rented rooms that are visited by secretive gentlemen. They travel constantly, and Marco has been trained since birth to pass as a native of any of the countries in Europe. When a crisis hits, Marco needs all of his training and devotion to his father.This is a romantic tale, not in the sense of love but in the sense that its a fantasy of how European feudalism works, a bit like The Prisoner of Zenda crossed with the Scarlet Pimpernell.

The men are all Real Men, women are Real Women, and all the classes instinctively know and hold to Their Place. The lower classes feel an innate, uncontrollable devotion to those who should justly rule them. The upper classes are natural leaders, who always know the right thing to do. Marcos every word and movement betrays him as someone who should be obeyed. Supposedly, peoples eyes follow him down the street and they exclaim in wonder at his regal bearing. (His lower class friend, by the way, literally begs to be allowed to polish his boots.)This is basically the boys version of The Little Princess, except that Marco is macho where Sarah is girly.

In both, they are big-eyed children with thick dark hair who are devoted to their papas. They are characterized by their imaginations, high intelligence, bravery, and innate poise. After a childhood spent accepting service as their natural due, cruel and foolish people force them into isolation and poverty. And yet, their inborn abilities allow them to rise above those who would destroy them, and they triumph in the end by being richer and more powerful than before.

Even complete strangers are excited by their triumph, because they so obviously, naturally deserve wealth and power.I found it all revolting. Im used to the gender essentialism in Burnett, but she really goes all out in her classism.

Its such an obvious, contrived fantasy, and I really lost all patience for it early on. I probably could have borne it better if Marco hadnt been so perfect (even Sarah Crewe gets a moment of frustration--but Marco always thinks and does the right thing), if the big plot twist (view spoiler)[Marco is the lost prince!

surprise! wasnt so obvious, or if the spiritualist subplot hadnt been so dreadful. As it was, I forced my way through only by reading the worst passages aloud to my roommates so we could cackle at them together. (hide spoiler)]

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