Little Lord Fauntleroy (Puffin Classics)

by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Paperback, 1996



Local notes

PB Bur




Puffin (1996), 256 pages


An American boy goes to live with his grandfather in England where he becomes heir to a title and a fortune.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

256 p.; 4.42 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member fyrefly98
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
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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.
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LibraryThing member lunacat
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
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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.
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LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
I am always at something of a loss to explain my abiding love for Little Lord Fauntleroy, which must be included, along with The Secret Garden and A Little Princess, among the author's better known works. Extremely sentimental, with a somewhat more moralistic tone than that found in Burnett's other
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two classics, it features a child protagonist so angelically good that children everywhere might be forgiven for hating him.

But despite its Victorian trappings - complete with English aristocrats, estranged and disinherited sons, long-lost (not to mention fake) heirs, and the inevitable triumph of the moral and "well-bred" over the deceitful and vulgar - Little Lord Fauntleroy is at heart a satisfying tale of family reconciliation, and the transformative power of love. Cedric Errol, the cheerful, good-hearted young hero of the tale, is able to bridge the differences, not just between the generations, but between the nations.

Burnett herself was something of a bridge, born and raised in England, but living most of her adult life in America, and her familiarity with both cultures must have stood her in good stead while writing this tale of a crusty English aristocrat and his American heir. This may also account, in part, for my pleasure in the story, for at a time when few English children's authors had anything good to say about Americans (if they had anything to say at all), Burnett created a lovable character whose virtues - from the ease with which he converses with adults, to his democratic kindness and concern for all - were distinctly alien to British notions of childhood.
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LibraryThing member Black_samvara
One of my favourite children's books ever. Fauntleroy is a young, American boy whose gentle mother allows him to be taken from her when he becomes the heir to a massive English fortune. His delightful, loving personality wins over his incredibly cranky grandfather and eventually reunites his family.
LibraryThing member vonze
Little Lord Fauntleroy is a sweet tale about a father-less, American boy named Cedric who finds himself the heir to an English earldom. The story is sorta in the vein of other classic books, like Anne of Green Gables, Heidi, Pollyanna, and Rebecca of Sunnybrooke farm, in which a sweet, innocent
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child generally makes people happy. By the end of the story grumpy people are made kind and ungrumpy. I guess you'd say Little Lord Fauntleroy is the male character take on that storyline. Also, Little Lord Fauntleroy (Cedric) is the anti-Tom Sawyer, because Fauntleroy is the perfect, gentleman child.

Four stars because the plot is pretty straight-forward. No shocks or surprises. However, the story is very enduring. Just a sweet, comforting little read about a cute little boy doing nice things.

On a personal note, while I enjoyed the story, I hate the title. The name Fauntleroy reminds me of Ben Stiller's character in "Meet the Parents" or Prince Humperdinck from "The Princess Bride." I wish Burnett had titled it "something something Cedric" for the character's real name.
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LibraryThing member JudithProctor
It's soppy and sentimental and idealises childhood in a totally unrealistic manner - and I still love it! Sometimes, it's nice to be able to suspend disbelief and decide that crusty old men can be indeed be won around by childish love, innocence and good manners.
LibraryThing member Shimeall
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
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her reading selection for the coming school year.
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LibraryThing member Black_samvara
One of the sweetest and most loving children's books I've ever read. Very romantic and Love Conquers All.
LibraryThing member rxr0324
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
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And Earl become good,so it is please for me.
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LibraryThing member ParadisePorch
The third son of the Earl of Dorincourt, Cedric Errol, is disowned by his widower father because he marries an American. The couple have a child; Cedric Sr. dies in an influenza epidemic; both of the Earl’s older sons die – and, guess what? – the American boy Cedric inherits the title. His
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grandfather has him brought to England to groom him for the position.

Cedric is a paragon of beauty and virtue but, even though I tried, I couldn’t dislike him. “He was always lovable because he was simple and loving. To be so is like being born a king.”

What a wonderful children’s story this is – and I’m so very sorry that I missed it a s a child. 4½ stars

Read this if: you have a child to share it with (oh, do introduce him or her to Cedric!); you’d like a child’s view of the world of Downton Abbey; or if you value classics.
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LibraryThing member Kegsoccer
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
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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"!
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LibraryThing member SueinCyprus
The story is about a boy called Cedric, who lives with his mother in a fairly run-down New York neighbourhood in the late 1800s. He is a lovable child, who has a knack of making friends with people of all ages: from the local grocer to a bootblack who struggles to make ends meet.

One day, a lawyer
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arrives from the UK, giving some news that changes their lives forever. Much of the book describes Cedric's gradual adaptation to a very different kind of life, and also the thawing of a crusty old man.

It’s a children’s book, which paints a good picture of the contrast between aristocratic homes in England and the poorer parts of New York. The author was clearly comfortable in both cultures, and shows how different the two countries were, even 130 years ago.

Well worth reading for anyone - child or adult - who likes this era of fiction. I re-read it in about three hours, and it made an excellent distraction from an otherwise rather boring flight.
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LibraryThing member Lucy_Skywalker
Today I picked up a very cheap copy at a book stall. I didn't mean to go and re-read it right now, but it seems I'm doing it =) Not as good as I remembered, but still not bad.
LibraryThing member jon1lambert
The essence of childhood within orange Albatross Library colours, a great object to hold, touch and read the perfectly designed type: 'a new version of a sixteenth century type...printed and made by Arnoldo Mondadori in Verona'.
LibraryThing member rainpebble
Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett; (5*)

This was a sweet little story that speaks of the power of kindness, generosity and friendship.
Cedric, our Little Lord Fauntleroy, is such an endearing character, so wise for such a young child. He is a perfect little angel of a lad. He's
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handsome, kind and caring. The reader cannot help but to adore this little guy.
When he came into his fortune he was told by his grandfather's 'man' that he could have anything he wanted. Most little boys would want a race car or a spaceship or something else totally selfish but not our little guy. He only wanted money to help the poor and the needy.
The Earl, his grandfather, was your stereotypical stone faced, heartless lord who has never loved anyone but himself and his now deceased younger son. But then he meets this grandson who is impossible not to adore. Cedric's innocent love for his grandfather breaks open the veneer of his stony old heart and makes an impact on the old soul, changing his life and consequently the lives of those who live under him.
Another wonderful story by this gifted and beloved author.
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LibraryThing member ComposingComposer
For all that Frances Hodgson Burnett's classism is more evident in this book than either of her more popular books, there is still something charming about a boy who is very good and innocent becoming a lord. It's rather like a Cinderella story really. And I'm a sucker for redemption stories too,
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as Cedric's grandfather changes for the better.
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LibraryThing member john257hopper
This is one of Burnett's most famous books and is another uplifting story of individual redemption, this time not of a child as in The Secret Garden, but by a child, of an adult. Young Cedric Errol, a 7 year old living in genteel poverty in New York with his mother, is stunned to discover he is
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heir to an earldom in England. The aging, irascible and curmudgeonly Earl of Dorincort has outlived all three of his sons, including his younger son, who was cast off for marrying a pretty American woman. He summons his grandson across the Atlantic and finds, against his will and inclination, that he fond of young Cedric, who is sweet natured and kind. The transformation of the Earl under the boy's influence is amusing and heart-warming, though Cedric, like a lot of children in 19th century literature, is too good to be true. This is an uplifting read.
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LibraryThing member AliceAnna
What a sweet little book! I'm not sure what I expected, but the story of a little American boy who becomes heir to a British earl was just a lovely, sweet, simple story. Cedric is loved by all, even the current earl, who is a curmudgeon at best and cruel and vindictive at worst. Cedric wins over
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the earl (his grandfather) by simply assuming that he is a good and kind person and treating him as such. Nice lesson.
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LibraryThing member jnmwheels
This is a book about virtue. It would be a fun read aloud for the grands.
LibraryThing member nordie
With "The Secret Garden", this is perhaps one of Burnett's best known stories, helping to cement her reputation as a children's author.

This is a rather twee and sentimental kind of book - much more so than SG - where the blond, curly haired 7yo Cedric is identified as the new Lord Fauntleroy after
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the death of his father and his two uncles. His goodness, positive attitude, and ability to see the good in everyone turns his grandfather's head and heart, and turns the lives around of all around him.

It is, perhaps, just a tad too sickly for my liking, but is not a bad book for all that.
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Other editions




½ (429 ratings; 3.6)
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