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The Shuttle

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  700 Ratings  ·  128 Reviews
Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924) was a playwrite and novelist best known for The Secret Garden.
Paperback, 520 pages
Published December 31st 2010 by Wildside Press (first published 1906)
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Oct 31, 2014 Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There’s a lovely passage in Frances Hodgson-Burnett’s childhood memoir – ‘The One I Knew the Best of All’ – that recalls the joy of imagining what wondrous stories might be inside the books on the highest shelf that she couldn’t quite reach.

‘The Shuttle’ is exactly the right book for that child to have written when she became a grown up author. An author who understood the magic of the story; the very special kind of magic that captures children and makes them into life-long readers. This book
I chose to read this book for an author birthday challenge because, in 2014, I had read To Marry an English Lord: Or How Anglomania Really Got Started and had become interested in the period of history when many wealthy young American women had married British aristocrats, purportedly because the women wanted the title and the men needed the wealth. I had hoped that this fictional perspective of the period, published in 1907, might be a good complement to the non-fiction work.

To my surprise, the
Reading this book, I couldn't stop feeling that it is some kind of a lesson or a summary of the life. I felt that Frances Hodgson Burnett told me about the life and times she knew in the way that would teach me something. Definitely, it isn't just a novel nor just a story. I think it is a great book for a young people, for those who are on the threshold of adulthood.

The story (plot) itself is also interesting and engaging. There are many different characters, there is a drama. Most of all there
Feb 13, 2012 MyBookAffair rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
...There are moments in this novel when it feels as if we have returned to the secret garden, as adults, and are allowed to step amongst the ruins of a wonderfully, dilapidated garden that is crying out for a make over.
In fact, the whole book could be read as such. Not only do we find a garden that needs a make-over, but there is an entire English village and its inmates that have been completely neglected. along with its local artistocracy, Mount Dunstan and Lady Anstruthers who are veritible
Alisha Trenalone
Who knew that Frances Hodgson Burnett had written books besides The Secret Garden and A Little Princess? I had never heard of The Shuttle, but after this I will certainly be trying some of her other works of fiction. The characters were drawn extremely well and leave very strong impressions. It's a story full of romance and drama, and despite what sounds like a depressing storyline (girl goes to rescue her sister from an abusive husband), there is actually quite a bit of hope and positivity in i ...more
A remarkable Librivox read by tabithat. It took me about a chapter to get really involved, and once I did, there was no stopping.

Of course, one might say that Rosalie was too much of a ninny, that Bettina was a tad too perfect, but never mind that, Sir Nigel was the absolute villain, and The Shuttle to me was a real page-turner.
I wholeheartedly recommend it.
Dec 29, 2012 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Shuttle could have easily gotten four stars from me. The beginning is strong, and the ending is compelling. The middle, however, gets a bit laborious with condescending vignettes in which characters from backgrounds of wealth or nobility feel ever so edified in interacting with characters from more humble backgrounds. The story could have been a bit more economically crafted.

The protagonist, Betty Vanderpoel, seems to have virtually no flaws. She's repeatedly referred to as having "genius,"
Sep 17, 2016 Rosemary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: persephone
In the 19th century, it became fashionable for American heiresses to marry titled Englishmen, but the marriages didn't always work out. At the beginning of this novel, sweet and innocent Rosalie Vanderpoel is courted by Sir Nigel Anstruthers, who has come to New York seeking an injection of cash for his rundown estate. He whisks Rosy off to England, where he bullies her and isolates her from her family. Twelve years later, her newly grown up sister Bettina sets out to rescue her.

Frances Hodgson
Jan 24, 2010 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been working my way through best selling books from 1900s and so far this has been my favorite. Whereas women in other books I've read from this period have been weak willed or oppressed or simpering, Betty was strong minded and respected. She didn't make endless bad decisions (like Lily in House of Mirth) or require rescuing by a man (like pretty much every other book I've read in this time period). You felt the entire time that she was going to do the right things and do them well, at lea ...more
Dana Loo
Feb 08, 2016 Dana Loo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classici
Un romanzo che, nonostante qualche lentezza, mi è piaciuto molto. Rientra in quello spaccato di letteratura che celebra, con le sue opere, il confronto fra le culture del vecchio e del nuovo mondo: l'aristocrazia del sangue VS l'aristocrazia degli affari che avveniva per lo più tramite matrimoni tra aristocratrici decaduti e ricche signorine americane. Su questo tema, molto in auge tra la metà dell'800 e gli inizi del 900, la Burnett tesse la storia di Betty Vanderpoel, una ragazza americana vol ...more
Jan 25, 2009 Ali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was looking forward to reading this after having heard good things about it on the Persephone group on Librarything. I wasn't disappointed. This is an engrossing, page turner. Frances Hodgson Burnett hightlighted the sad plight of many large houses at this time, which being entailed couldn't be sold, but whose owners where so impoverished they were unable to properly maintain them. Her love of the English countryside is obvious in her decriptions of it and the enthusiam of her American charcte ...more
3.5 stars
As the twentieth century begins, a sweet young pliable American heiress marries Sir Nigel Anstruthers, an impoverished English gentleman. To her ill-luck, he proves to be a manipulative bully, and he makes her life miserable. A dozen years later, the heiress's younger sister Betty, who has more wits and pluck than most, arrives to rescue her sister.

Betty is an intoxicating character: cool and self-possessed, smart, perceptive, unfailingly kind, and inquisitive. When she's first introduced she's
Apr 22, 2012 Roberta rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classici, to-own, uk, 2015
Era da tempo che 'corteggiavo' questo romanzo. Nel 2011 ho letto The Secret Garden e l'anno successivo A Little Princess. Poi mi sono un po' persa, ma non per mancanza di buona volontà. Sono stata a lungo indecisa se acquistare l'edizione Persephone di The Shuttle (costosetta, ma bellissima oppure sfruttare la versione gratuita di Gutenberg Project ( Alla fine ha vinto l'edizione gratuita. Quello che non sapevo è che ...more
Jan 18, 2010 Dianna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the first hundred slow-moving pages of this book, I considered giving it up. I'm so glad I didn't. I devoured the last half of the book and it was certainly good reading, the increased proportion of action to words over the first half being greatly appreciated.

Roaslie Vanderpoel, daughter of a fabulously wealthy New York millionaire, marries English aristocrat Sir Nigel Anstruthers, who just wants her for her money and makes her life miserable. Twelve years later, her sister Bettina is grown
Jun 07, 2012 Martha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, read-in-2012
I love Frances Hodgson Burnett. When I pick up her adult novels, I worry a little that I will be disappointed, but I never am. This is a novel about the way America and England shuttle back and forth for commerce and marriage, as well as the way the shuttle of fate weaves lives. There are heiresses and a villain so awful you can't believe in him until the heroine calmly says to him, "You are behaving like the villain in a melodrama." She is Betty Vanderpoel, and she is my new best literary frien ...more
rachael gibson
May 07, 2013 rachael gibson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another Persephone hit!

I've long been interested in the wave of US millionaires marrying Brit aristocracy, and have read and enjoyed biographies of Vanderbilts, Catons and Randolphs - and as a dedicated Downton fan, I'm also looking forward to Fellowe's upcoming drama on the Gilded Age.

... all of which is a long winded way of saying I thoroughly.enjoyed this book. I downloaded it to read on holiday and it was a total page-turner complete with baddies, goodies and romance. If that makes it sound
Feb 21, 2008 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My copy is from Persephone, and you just can't qo wrong with that publisher. I've loved Burnett for years, but never read an adult novel, even though one of them has been on my shelf for years. This was a classic Victorian novel, with a dastardly (and truly horrifying--a real mixture of realism and ridiculousness) villian and spunky heroine. It was a wonderful examination of American money and British class issues, set alongside a good bit of women's history. And it was a page turner. Yes, in pa ...more
Sep 12, 2016 Ffiamma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: donne, uk, ebook
inghilterra e america- due mondi che, inevitabilmente, entreranno in contatto, non solo attraverso i matrimoni e le cui differenze si attenueranno anche grazie all'intraprendenza femminile. una protagonista sfavillante, i cui pregi riusciranno a salvare la sorella (scema e piagnucolosa) da un legame infelice con il cattivissimo di turno, una storia d'amore non troppo melensa, tante belle descrizioni della campagna inglese, qualche lungaggine di troppo. fra tutti i romanzi della hodgson burnett è ...more
Jul 13, 2014 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Shuttle by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The "shuttle" is a weaving metaphor. I'd forgotten entirely about that kind of shuttle until FHB described it clicking and clacking figuratively back and forth across the loom like a steamship or a telegraph wire between England and America, bringing saucy Americans and the staid British closer together as a recurring theme in a Frances Hodgson Burnett novel, along with gardens, a crippled child, rags to riches, twists of fortune, and obvious villains. I l ...more
Nov 12, 2010 Heather rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read both A Little Princess and The Secret Garden as a tween and LOVED them. This book started out better than either of those I thought. Or, maybe that's just because I'm older and I can more appreciate certain aspects of her writing. I need to re-read those two books.

Her descriptions in The Shuttle are amazingly vivid. I could see (and still can when I close my eyes) the English countryside, hear the beat of the horses hoofs and practically feel the rain! Her prose is also entertainingly inf
Dec 06, 2014 Mirte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this novel. I can't explain very well why, but I'll try.

First of all there's the period that is brought to life, with its stately mansions slowly falling to ruin, and in some cases being built up again beautifully. The English countryside really breathes from the pages, very well-written and described.

Then, there's the characters of Betty and Mount Dunstan. They're great. Betty is strong-willed, intelligent, and does not take shit from anyone. She's a positive depiction of the
Brenda Clough
In many ways an appealing novel. Modern readers will enjoy the romantic plot and the superbly competent heroine. Betty, endowed by the author with every possible advantage you can imagine, invades Britain the way Sherman went through Georgia. Everyone surrenders without a fight except her evil brother-in-law, who inevitably comes to a bad end.
Alas, all the discussions about the difference between Brits and Americans, and all the analysis of the importance of transatlantic relationships, are very
A romance novel about the interaction of Americans and Europeans in the 19th century. The heroine is a beautiful, intelligent, business-minded American daughter of a multi-millionaire. (I kept thinking Ayn Rand would LOVE her.) She travels to the rescue of her older sister, a less hardy girl who married a conniving nobleman that has used what money he could extract from her to finance his life of vice. In England, the wealthy beauty discovers that she loves the country and the ability she has to ...more
Apr 22, 2008 Jenn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jenn by: Susan, Tyra
Shelves: 2008books
Susan and Tyra suggested this book as a part of the Persephone collection. I enjoyed it, but I didn't really find it to be the page turner I was expecting it to be. It was a nice read with an interesting story line. The book centers around two heiresses from New York. One sister, Rosalie, marries an English duke who proceeds to make her miserable. The younger sister, Bettina, goes to England after many years to save Rosalie from her torturous husband and help her to turn her life around. The gir ...more
Apr 29, 2013 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: librivox
First of all, what a RELIEF this was to listen to after finishing 'Middlemarch'. It was like having life pumped back into me. It was like I was an English manor being revived by one Betty Vanderpoel, Reuben Vanderpoel's daughter, if you will.

Secondly, the Librivox reader for this is fantastic. It was an absolute treat to listen to.

Also, yes, Betty's perfection is a bit tedious. I wish I could find out if it were originally a serial because otherwise some of the repetition is inexcusable. We get
In its time, a bestseller. Sort of "Secret Garden" for grown-up readers--both Burnett books were inspired by author's restoration of an old English estate.

Slow-moving in the beginning (for many "modern" readers, anyway), but I found very interesting contrast between two daughters of American self-made millionaire--what today would at least be a billionaire: delicate older sister Rosie is typical mid-Victorian passive, petite "ideal woman"; her younger sister Bettina (wonder if that's where Maud
Christina Dudley
I made it to 54% and can't motivate myself to go further. While I very much enjoyed the first part of the book, about American bride Rosie Vanderpoel and her awful British husband and MIL, once the book switched to her younger sister Bettina, things started going downhill for me. Bettina is beautiful, brilliant, charming, etc, and not a single character she encounters fails to tell her so and basically fall in love with her. Ugh. The men have silly conversations with each other essentially about ...more
Aug 23, 2014 Kat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. The characters were incredibly believable, and the villain in particular really rang true in his utter vileness.

Sir Nigel is manipulative, emotionally abusive, and utterly convinced that he is entitled to whatever he wants. Betty is only able to thwart him because she is smart enough to be very, very public about everything she does, and to put him in a position where he will be publicly at fault if he protests. So he responds by never letting her have a moment alon
Nov 14, 2014 Miki rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly this was a good story, even written with turn of the century flowery prose, which I normally dislike. (I do think it could have run about a third shorter in length if so many characters hadn't spoken as if they were paid by the word, but that's just me.)

I might have liked it better if Betty had been a little less perfect. Even her gazillionaire father hung breathlessly on her every observation and idea,,and as for the poor village people...well, she was an angel sent from Heaven to
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Frances Eliza Hodgson was the daughter of ironmonger Edwin Hodgson, who died three years after her birth, and his wife Eliza Boond. She was educated at The Select Seminary for Young Ladies and Gentleman until the age of fifteen, at which point the family ironmongery, then being run by her mother, failed, and the family emigrated to Knoxville, Tennessee. Here Hodgson began to write, in order to sup ...more
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“Their eyes met with a singular directness of gaze. Between them a spark passed which was not afterwards to be extinguished, though neither of them knew the moment of its kindling...” 16 likes
“It was a mere matter of seeing common things together and exchanging common speech concerning them, but each was so strongly conscious of the other that no sentence could seem wholly impersonal. There are times when the whole world is personal to a mood whose intensity seems a reason for all things. Words are of small moment when the mere sound of a voice makes an unreasonable joy.” 7 likes
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