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Special Feature: Frances Hodgson Burnett

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Re: Special Feature: Frances Hodgson Burnett

Postby Narnia Girl » Oct 16, 2009 5:22 pm

*pops in and waves* Hey, everybody.

Anyway, I absolutely love A Little Princess. I also love the movie for it (the 1995 version). It was really good. :)
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Re: Special Feature: Frances Hodgson Burnett

Postby Attolian Thief » Oct 21, 2009 8:46 pm

I've read The Little Princess and the Secret Garden, and The Little Princess is defniatly my favorite. I've watched three different movie adaptaions of The Little Princess, and found only one of them cme close to following the book, I think it was the most recent adaptation, but I'm not sure. I read The Little Princess somany times a kid that I practically had it memorized, then I started high school and stopped reading it. When I picked it back up again recently I enjoyed it, but when I got to the end I made a rather fustrating discovery. Sarah Crewe does not belive in God rather Imagination replaces it. :( Through out the book anytime something bad happens, she just pretends like it didn't happen, or that something better happened instead. She just carries on through all her struggles, just imagining them away, and Miss Minchin never understands her, because she lacks imagination. This replacement is dangerous, but if we read it, understanding that's what Frances Hudgson Burnett is showing then we're in no danger. This theme is also in The Secret Garden, but not as obviously shown.
A point to make about the author is that she left her husband to go abroad and write her books, rather then staying at home to write and care for her family. She felt he tied her imagination down. I hope i don't seem to down on the books :-s I still enjoy them very much, despite thier none Christian themes, and will continue to read them for years to come.
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Re: Special Feature: Frances Hodgson Burnett

Postby wisewoman » Oct 22, 2009 1:46 pm

I really like The Secret Garden and A Little Princess. They were childhood favorites and I still enjoy them as an adult.

The film versions have been mostly unimpressive though. I liked the SG one with Kate Maberly, apart from the elements that coracle mentions. We used to have the Hallmark version (the one where the girl has the American accent, ugh!) and I used to like it but not anymore. I've learned better since!

Bubbly wrote:BTW, did anyone else beside myself have to pace yourself with reading the Yorkshire?


Yes, I did. I really like it though. I found myself silently mouthing the words as I read and it was really quite a creditable effort. Translating accent to written dialogue is very tricky.

The newest film version of LP is well done, but oh so politically correct! :( I think Mark Johnson produced it. They made Becky a person of color in addition to other changes that mostly serve to dumb things down for us modern audiences. It does have a pretty score, though... one of the songs is adapted from a poem by William Blake.

I really like the old miniseries starring Amelia Shankley (though she was a bit too old for the part, she was very good in it!). I once saw it at a thrift store on tape and didn't buy it, because I thought I would get it eventually on DVD. Well, what do you know, it hasn't been released on DVD and probably won't ever be! It also has the most lovely score by Rachel Portman. It was such a pretty melody that I wrote words so I could sing it ;))

I've only read Little Lord Fauntleroy once and I wasn't overly impressed. Isn't he a poster child for the unrealistically perfect little boy, kind of like how Pollyanna is used derogatorily for overly cheerful people?

Attolian Thief, you make some good points about the underlying philosophy of A Little Princess. I don't think it's so much that Sara doesn't believe in God as that He is simply absent from her world. I think the story has some good things to say about bearing persecution and hardship, but I agree that it isn't the whole picture for the believer. So I take what elements are good and leave the rest, and enjoy the story in the process :)

I've heard about Burnett's Spiritualist beliefs. The parts about "Magic" in the books never bothered me; I think they are vague enough to be taken however you wish, and I always interpreted them as referring vaguely to Christianity. I wish they really were, but I don't think it's bad enough to interfere with my enjoyment of the books. Magic can also be seen as a metaphor for imagination and childlike wonder in some of the places it's mentioned.

Huh, I did not know that Burnett left her family to travel and write. Of course we don't know the full situation, but that certainly doesn't sound good.
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Re: Special Feature: Frances Hodgson Burnett

Postby Meltintalle » Oct 22, 2009 3:07 pm

I've read three of her books: Secret Garden, A Little Princess (I have a copy with gorgeous illustrations by Graham Rust :D ) and Little Lord Fauntleroy. I enjoy them all.

ww wrote:[The '95 movie] does have a pretty score, though... one of the songs is adapted from a poem by William Blake.
You have no idea how excited I was when I saw that in the liner notes. Then I listened to the CD a few times and couldn't figure out where the poem was! I finally realised that it was the really fast piece. I was disappointed. [-( I do like Tyger, Tyger, but Doyle's original piece is actually singable.
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Re: Special Feature: Frances Hodgson Burnett

Postby Marigold Gamgee » Oct 22, 2009 9:07 pm

I've read A Little Princess, the Secret Garden, and Little Lord Fauntleroy.

wisewoman: here's the link to the Amelia Shankley DVD version on Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Little-Princess-Maureen-Lipman/dp/B001T46T8I/ref=pd_sim_v_2/ The DVD was released earlier this year. :)
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Re: Special Feature: Frances Hodgson Burnett

Postby Silvertongue » Oct 23, 2009 6:13 am

wisewoman wrote:
I really like the old miniseries starring Amelia Shankley (though she was a bit too old for the part, she was very good in it!).


That's my favorite version of LP, and I used to be bothered by her age as well...but then once, while reading the book, I tried to figure out Sara's age by the end of the book, and if I'm remembering correctly, she was older...I can't remember exactly how old I figured her out to be, but older than the 7 years she started out with. So by the end of the movie, the actress probably would've been closer to the right age. ;)
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Re: Special Feature: Frances Hodgson Burnett

Postby wisewoman » Oct 23, 2009 6:51 am

Mel wrote:I finally realised that it was the really fast piece. I was disappointed.


Aww, I rather like the melody and arrangement! I thought it was nicely done, too, with the girls' choir. But I don't have the score; I'm just going off memory here.

Here is the part the song used from the poem "On Another's Sorrow":

William Blake wrote:Can I see another's woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another's grief,
And not seek for kind relief?

Can I see a falling tear,
And not feel my sorrow's share?
Can a father see his child
Weep, nor be with sorrow filled?


Here is the full text if anyone wants to see the rest of it. You don't think the minor melody and arrangement suits it, Mel?

And I have both LP and SG in the lovely hardback editions with Graham Rust's illustrations. I just need LLF to show up on my various wishlists to complete that little set. I agree that Rust's illustrations are just lovely.

Marigold wrote:wisewoman: here's the link to the Amelia Shankley DVD version on Amazon


:ymhug: Marigold, thank you so much! I had no idea it was finally released on DVD. That one's going straight to my wishlist. Yay :D

Silvertongue wrote:So by the end of the movie, the actress probably would've been closer to the right age.


I like that reasoning ;))
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Re: Special Feature: Frances Hodgson Burnett

Postby daughter of the King » Oct 23, 2009 8:25 am

On Sara's age: the book begins when she is seven. She has her eleventh birthday about halfway through, and from what happens, I think at least a year goes by before the end. So she is at least twelve at the end.

The miniseries is on DVD? I didn't know that. I'll have to get it.
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Re: Special Feature: Frances Hodgson Burnett

Postby wisewoman » Oct 23, 2009 1:02 pm

Hmm. I think Amelia Shankley's a little older than twelve in the miniseries. She might even be as old as fourteen! But she plays the role so well I forgive her ;))

Yes, Marigold linked to the DVD above *hugs Marigold again*. It just came out on DVD in May :)
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Re: Special Feature: Frances Hodgson Burnett

Postby Meltintalle » Oct 23, 2009 4:47 pm

ww wrote:You don't think the minor melody and arrangement suits it, Mel?
No, the one about sorrow is the song I like. I had thought it was Doyle's original poetry. :ymblushing: Oops. It's been awhile since I read the liner notes. ;)

The one I was disappointed with is track 16 -- Tyger, Tyger -- from Blake's poem of the same name. (It's 27 seconds long, so the 30 second Amazon clip (click listen to samples) has the whole thing.) They just go Tygertygerburningbrightwheewe'redone and I'm amazed that anyone can sing that fast. But I think that the poem would be much better suited by a slow and stately tune.

William Blake wrote:Tyger, tyger burning bright
In the forests of the night
What immortal hand or eye
Can frame thy fearful symmetry?
And then it goes on about 'what dread hand' and burning fire and I used to have the poem memorised but I've forgot the other four verses. (The last verse is the same as the verse except instead of 'can' it's 'dare'.)

The full poem is here. Good stuff! :D

I have the Wordsworth classics version of LLF. It has beautiful black and white line drawings, so I haven't felt the burning desire to replace it. But if I ever had the chance to get Graham Rust's version... I probably would add it to my collection.
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Re: Special Feature: Frances Hodgson Burnett

Postby wisewoman » Oct 24, 2009 8:56 am

Ah. That one I didn't even realize *was* Blake's poem! I've never read the liner notes. I agree with you; I would never have thought to set it to a sprightly, upbeat tune like that. I like the tune itself, just not in conjunction with those words. But they sing them so fast you can't tell what they are anyways ;))
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Re: Special Feature: Frances Hodgson Burnett

Postby Aslanisthebest » Oct 25, 2009 2:52 pm

I've read A Little Princess, The Secret Garden, Little Lord Fauntleroy, and The Land of the Blue Flower by Frances Hodges Burnett. What I can say to sum it up, her writing satisfies my style very well. :) (For some things in the books, I don't remember reading something I thought contradicted a Christian principle, or so, but I may be wrong, as I haven't read them quite too recently.)

I loved A Little Princess. It was a wonderful book that I know I'll enjoy at every read, but the movie version I watched was inaccurate to the book. I watched the Shirley Temple version,
Firstly, there was no Miss Rose and whats-his-name. Then, didn't Captain Crewe die? I think I liked it better bookwise, that Sara was adopted by Captain Crewe's friend who was looking for her. (And I liked it bookwise that Captian Crewe's friend didn't cuss in the book, and wasn't disagreeable.)
I don't mind so much having Captain Crewe be alive and for Sara to find him. I do like the movie, some owing to the fact that I think Shirley Temple is adorable. But I wish they'd make one more related to the book. (The aspects I didn't like in the movie were some added things, like Captain Crewe's freind being crabby, Miss Rose, and some other stuff...)

The Secret Garden is definitely one of those books that I'd want to read over and over again and never get tired of it. It has a sweet air to it, and is interesting. We watched one version of the movie a while ago, but that must've been 5 or 6 years ago because I don't recall every bit of it. After reading the book, though, I think I remember it being not too close to the book.
Little Lord Fauntleroy was one I really liked, too. Not as much as The Secret Garden, but I'd read it again. :)
The Land of the Blue Flower; I don't know how well-known this one is. I found it at the library, looking for more books about Frances Hodgeson Burnett. It was a nice one. (It's probably my least favourite of the ones I've read, but it wasn't bad.)
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Re: Special Feature: Frances Hodgson Burnett

Postby Princess Anna » Oct 27, 2009 12:19 pm

Sorry guys, I skimmed through this thread because I'm a bit busy with multi-tasking at the moment. But I will go into more detail (with reading and responding) later.

I remember reading both The Secret Garden and A Little Princess when I was a kid, and LOVING them! Sadly, I haven't really read them in a long time. Something to do once I've read through books I haven't read yet, hmm?

I don't recall which LP movie(s) I've seen. I think I saw two of them?

As for Secret Garden...
I've seen three versions.

My favourite for years was the 1987 Hallmark one (though I always hated the fact that they made Mary and Colin not related, and to make them get engaged at the end. I always tried my best to ignore that aspect of it). I think this version has my favourite Dickon... and if I'm not mistaken he was the kid who played Bastian in the first Neverending Story film. (forget his name, sorry) I really liked the music in this one, and wish I knew where to find it. I would definitely listen to it while reading, or making graphics.

I don't remember much about the one made in the 90's, except that it stuck closer to the book. Which I loved.

And then there is the last one I saw: the 1949 version with Margaret O'Brien. (I think it came out the same year as the Little Women version where she was Beth) I don't recall much about this one, but I liked it. And if I remember right, I only saw it for the first time about, oh... six years ago? maybe less. Anyway, yeah. ;))

Yes! I know about the musical of it! I first heard of it because my local community theatre was doing it (this was a few years ago). I auditioned (for the role of Martha, Dickon's sister), but I didn't make it. I did go see it, however. And fell in love with it. I have the soundtrack now, and the libretto I think. (but it doesn't have the music. just everyone's lines, and the words of the songs, in the right places in the script) Anyway, I'd love another chance to try and be in the show. So, to whoever it was that asked the question: As far as I know, it's just a musical for the stage. And it first premiered on broadway in the early or mid ninties. *will have to look it up for my later post to be positive*

Anyway, that's my short version, believe it or not. I'll get more detailed (if I can) later on. I look forward to it! :D
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Re: Special Feature: Frances Hodgson Burnett

Postby stargazer » Oct 31, 2009 8:16 pm

Please note that this thread will close on Wednesday, November 4. After that time, please discuss Burnett's works in the appropriate Books or Movies thread. Thanks!
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