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The Head of the House of Coombe (The Head of the House of Coombe #1)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  76 ratings  ·  14 reviews
This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally importan ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 11th 2007 by BiblioLife (first published 1922)
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Mary Ronan Drew
Most people when they think of Frances Hodgson Burnett, if they think of her at all, remember The Little Princess, The Secret Garden, and Little Lord Fauntleroy and dismiss her as a writer of children's books. But Burnett wrote many adult novels, including The Making of a Marchioness, which was republished not long ago by Persephone and has become popular among discerning novel readers. She wrote about 30 adult novels and 15 or more children's books, many short stories, and a few plays and some ...more
This novel was originally published as a serial, and then, when printed in book form, in two volumes. This is volume 1. Volume 2 is "Robin".
My first impression was that this was "A Little Princess" for grownups. There is much more fleshing out of adult characters in this saga of a neglected child and they are more complicated. Burnett's observations about pre-WWI London society are intriguing and woven pretty seamlessly into the narrative. You will find the reading much more interesting if you
Beautifully written scenes, subtle in their understanding of the workings of societies and psyches, and truly interesting characters.
Again...I can't believe this book is available for purchase! We live in an amazing age. My version, printed in 1922 (a first edition) practically fell apart as I read it.

Robin is born to a mother, Feather, who has no room in her life for a child. Robin is kept in the attic rooms of a house in London and is tended to by a servant who holds Robin's mouth shut and pinches her when she makes noise. By six years old, she doesn't know what a mother is, no less that she has one. On an excursion to the
Frances Hodgson Burnett has her faults; I am the first to admit it. She can be sententious, foolishly sentimental, even tedious. But when you read one of her adult novels, you come away with a powerful sense of the world she was writing about; she's a one-woman Sociology of the Early Twentieth Century course.

The eponymous head of the House of Coombe is the Earl of Coombe who, early in the novel, mysteriously consents to pay the bills of the pretty, spiteful and wholly nitwitted Feather Gareth-La
Kilian Metcalf
Finished reading Head of the House of Coombe by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I knew her from The Secret Garden, Little Lord Fauntleroy, and The Little Princess. Can't count the number of times I've reread The Little Princess. I was so pleased to find that she wrote many more books, and they are all free for Kindle. Coombe was originally a longer book, but her publishers made her cut it into two parts, and this book is Part One, ending with the assassination of the Archduke at Sarajevo. The main char ...more
This is a very weird book. Written in 1922 it's part romance, part social commentary and part political commentary. The sequel, Robin was written the same year. I think it's really one book published as two. I'll be reading Robin right away.

As a period piece it's really thought provoking. In 1922 this book was number 4 on the bestselling list and number 10 was Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis (who won the Nobel for literature).

Unfortunately, my kindle edition was full of OCR errors that really detract
This book started like any other Frances Hodgson Burnett book; it starts with parents, but focuses on a young girl growing up. Robin is the neglected (on the verge of abuse) daughter of a vapid self-absorbed widow who accepts the charity of the Head of the House of Coombe so she doesn't have to give up her lavish entertaining lifestyle. Robin doesn't have friends, meets a boy in the park, etc. So far, so good (albeit fluffy). Then suddenly, deep and serious thoughts about the state of Europe are ...more
This is usually classified with FHB's romances, since it is the prequel to Robin, but it is really less a romance and more a character piece. The characters are beautifully-crafted, but there is a certain lack of plot -- everything finally starts to happen in the last few pages. According to an editor's note in the end of my edition, the two books appeared as one in magazine serialization, but so much had been cut out that for the book version, they added it all back in and just made it two book ...more
Samantha Glasser
Sep 03, 2014 Samantha Glasser marked it as to-read
Read this book for free through Project Gutenberg:
Dastardly deeds done to innocent girl+ ESP + WW1
Not sure how to rate this book, since there were parts I liked, parts that were over the top (unsurprising given that this was a serial story), and parts that were pretty dull (pre-WWI political talk, but without specific details to help someone like me understand what's going on), but overall the verdict is this: I'm going to read the sequel.
Kitty with Curls
Not all that well-written, but surprisingly informative about the period immediately preceding WWI.
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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
More about Frances Hodgson Burnett...

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The Head of the House of Coombe (2 books)
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