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A Lady of Quality by Frances Hodgon Burnett

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A Lady of Quality - Frances Hodgson Burnett

Alternate Versions. Rate This. Clorinda accidentally kills Sir John when he, Director: Hobart Henley. Lista Global 1.

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Photos Add Image. Edit Cast Cast overview, first billed only: Virginia Valli Clorinda Wildairs Lionel Belmore Sir Geoffrey Wildairs Margaret Seddon Lady Daphne Wildairs Peggy Cartwright Clorinda age 6 Milton Sills Dame Passett Dorothea Wolbert Mistress Wimpole Bert Roach Sir Christopher Crowell Earle Foxe Sir John Ozen Leo White Sir Humphrey Ware George B.

Lord Porkfish Willard Louis The Tavern Keeper Patterson Dial A Lady of Quality Being a most curious, hitherto unknown history, as related by Mr. Isaac Bickerstaff but not presented to the World of Fashion through the pages of The Tatler , and now for the first time written down by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Uncivilised and almost savage as her girlish life was, and unregulated by any outward training as was her mind, there were none who came in contact with her who could be blind to a certain strong, clear wit, and unconquerableness of purpose, for which she was remarkable.

She ever knew full well what she desired to gain or to avoid, and once having fixed her mind upon any object, she showed an adroitness and brilliancy of resource, a control of herself and others, the which there was no circumventing. She never made a blunder because she could not control the expression of her emotions; and when she gave way to a passion, 'twas because she chose to do so, having naught to lose Although known today primarily for her children's books, Burnett also wrote novels for an adult audience, and A Lady of Quality is emphatically one of the latter.

Even in this more jaded era, it's hard to imagine a children's book that opens with a dying mother trying to kill her newborn, or one that features a six-year-old attacking her father with a riding crop. A Lady of Quality , a historical novel set during the reign of Queen Anne, gives us a protagonist almost comically at the opposite end of the spectrum from Cedric, the sunny-tempered seven-year-old who charms or annoys readers of Little Lord Fauntleroy. Clorinda Wildairs is a strong girl, and then a strong woman, in every sense of the term — physically powerful, mentally acute, and possessed of an indomitable will.

Indeed, the adult Clorinda could easily be comic-book super-heroine Wonder Woman transplanted into the early 18th Century, albeit without a Magic Lasso. Unlike many of Burnett's child protagonists, Clorinda is, at least at the outset, not a painfully noble character — or even a nice one. She drinks, she swears, she bullies everyone around her, and she gives free rein to her ferocious temper and unswerving determination to have her own way.

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Fortunately for Clorinda, she is a beauty as well as a hellion; otherwise, as the narrator admits, Clorinda's brutal father "would have broken every bone in her carcass without a scruple or a qualm" rather than submitting to her infant tyranny and "shrewish will". A Lady of Quality follows this fearsome female prodigy as she grows to adulthood and faces the challenges of love, marriage, betrayal, and danger, as well as the demands, both great and small, of the fashionable society in which she moves.

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Although her demeanor is far from that of the typical romantic heroine, Clorinda manages to win and keep our sympathy; we want her to succeed, even when she engages in acts her fictional contemporaries — or, indeed, the original readers of the novel — might have viewed as crimes.

Despite her deviation from the traditional romantic-heroine pattern, Clorinda Wildairs is no Becky Sharp. Clorinda speaks truthfully when she says, "I have no virtues — where should I have got them from, forsooth, in a life like mine?