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The Making of a Marchioness (Emily Fox-Seton #1)

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  1,556 ratings  ·  259 reviews
First published in 1901, The Making of a Marchioness follows thirty-something Emily who lives alone, humbly and happily, in a tiny apartment and on a meager income. She is the one that everyone counts on but no one goes out of their way to accommodate. This Cinderella-like story remains a much-loved favorite among many.

This book is followed by a sequel, The Methods of Lad
Paperback, 198 pages
Published June 5th 2001 by Adamant Media Corporation (first published January 1st 1901)
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Petra X
Part one: sweet love story, the commoner gets the prince sort of thing, Kate and William.
Part two: embarrassingly bad Gothic horror rubbish.

Subtotal, a book that deteriorates considerably until it finally ended and I could breathe a sigh of relief from such a dreadful potboiler.

Bonus one: It is short.
Bonus two: It was made into a tv movie, "The Making of a lady" which also starts off good then ditto.

Total: Save your money and buy a box of Milk Tray, eat all the chocolates you like the best and t
I am always impressed by Burnett's ability to write sweet stories without being twee or saccharine. This is what Edith Wharton would write on anti-depressants.
Brenda Clough
A very Victorian/Edwardian style of fiction. Professionally speaking, I can spot the passive heroine, the contrived plot (everybody conveniently falling ill and then recovering at the right moment!), and the clumsy murder attempts, doomed to failure. Surely the heroine cannot be as dumb as she is depicted as being; it is significant that all the characters and the narrator assure the reader at least once every chapter that Emily is not stupid, because she sure acts that way. And is it deliberate ...more
Francis Hodgson Burnett is best known for her children's books, including The Secret Garden and Little Lord Fauntleroy. Like those stories, The Making of a Marchioness explores the world of the British upper classes.

On one level this is a fairy story--set in Edwardian England, just about at the turn of the century. Cinderella reappears in the form of Emily Fox-Seton, a young woman of gentle birth and training, but nearly destitute. Emily, a spinster at thirty-five, cobbles together a slender li
Free download available at Project Gutenberg

The three week read and discussion of Emily Fox-Seton by Frances Hodgson Burnett begins Sunday, May 5, at the 19thCenturyLit group. Emily Fox-Seton includes The Making of a Marchioness and The Methods of Lady Walderhurst.

This book discussion can be joined at 19thCenturyLit - Literature of the 19th Century.

Discussion Schedule:
May 5 Part One (Chapters 1 - 6)
May 12 Part Two, Chapters 7 - 15
May 19 Part Two, Chapters 16 - 24

Both books, "The Making of a Marc
After catching the movie on late night PBS (titled "The Making of a Lady"), I was curious to read the book, to see if the rather silly mistakes that drive the plot are part of the original story. They are, indeed, although the character of the woman was somewhat changed in the movie. The tall, naive, straightforward Emily in the book is repeatedly described, with favor, as "stupid" and "big", just as Lord Walderhurst her husband is described as, "dull", and "beyond middle-aged" (he's mid-50s).

I loved this book (I actually read "Emily Fox-Seton," which is the two parts of the story in one--the second part was originally published separately as "The Methods of Lady Walderhurst."

The first part is a Cinderella-like story in which well-born but poor Emily is struggling to keep to a certain respectable standard of living in late-19th-century London. In addition to being a rather unconventional love story, we get some insight into the state of marriage at this time and the British class sys
Story: 3.5 stars
Narrator: 4 stars

Yes, I'll freely admit that, even though I had this book on my shelf for years, I didn't make the decision to read (well, listen to) it until after watching The Making of a Lady on PBS a few weeks ago (and I've pre-ordered the DVD!). While the "gothic" elements of the story seemed odd in the movie, I have to admit, they're even odder in the book . . . because they're given so much less malice and true menace first by how they're written about (and in whose POV) a
Another adult Burnett. I like the first part better, Emily looks such a nice, capable woman that could take care her own life, thank you very much. The romance (or the inexistence of it) was touching but not puke inducing. In the second part she seemed to be abandoning her self-reliance and became this adoring sugar sweet wife. I suppose this is real and valid thing to happen even now. It's so easy and comfortable to slip into it. I know I would gladly do it. It sounds as if I don't approve of s ...more
Slight spoiler:

The Making of a Marchioness kind of reminds me of a fairy tale, a 19th century fairy tale. There is the handsome, nice, naive heroine, the wealthy male suitor, and the evil influences. I got a bit distracted with all the references to the goodness and the niceness of Emily and her general outlook on life (a bit too saccharine for my taste) but that aside it's a pleasant read for the most part and like a fairy tale, good triumphs over evil.
Impresionante tanto la forma de escribir de Frances Hodgson como la historia. De lo mejorcito que he leído en mucho tiempo.
This book, written by the author of A Little Princess and The Secret Garden, is an adult romance that set the pace for traditional romances by Georgette Heyer and other writers. The heroine, Emily Fox-Seton is very poor, but manages to get by on 20 pounds a year. She's not very bright, but she's good and kind and everyone loves to take advantage of her good nature. Lady Maria Bayne invites Emily to her house party in the country to assist with the duties of party planning and hosting. The guests ...more
The author of famous stories for children also wrote some books for adults, but the style is much the same, somewhat sentimental, very straight-forward and easy to read. Despite the almost unbelievable good nature of the 34-year-old heroine Emily, one admires her, and cheers for her, and laughs as, without trying, she "lands" the "catch" of the day, a titled lord, a childless widower, who, in his early 50's, wants a wife but doesn't want to have to cater to her. The ever-obliging and cheerful Em ...more
Laura McDonald
The first half is a quaint romance. While both the hero and heroine could be a little more interesting, I believe the point is that they aren't interesting at all. Emily borders on being annoying for her stupidity and letting everyone trample all over her, but she's so sweet one can't completely dislike her. Lord Walderhurst is simply an older, utterly logical fellow looking for a gal--and not just a pretty face, which is admirable.

The second half has been called racist in recent times for its t
I enjoyed this book so much that I read it within a day and a half. The writing was lush and descriptive enough to enchant me--full of tea and English country houses. I also enjoyed the suspense--are these dark, sinister people from India really dark and sinister? Well, yes. But it wasn't as cut and dried as it could have been, thankfully. I also enjoyed the heroine, who was too good and guileless for her own good, and it seemed she was even too good, at times, for the narrator's patience! Anoth ...more
I am shocked that I had never heard of this book until just a few weeks ago. (Thank you Aunt Gayle!) What a delightful read! Previously I had only read the author's books for children, and, like many people, I didn't even know about her novels for adults until now.

The book was originally published in two parts: the first is a "Cinderella Story" of sorts, and the second is a drama/suspense/romance. It's filled with interesting characters, and moments that will make you smile and/or sigh, bite yo
Breezy sweetness at the beginning with a chipper heroine who narrowly avoids being overly Pollyanna-ish, I really did like her in the beginning. (I stopped liking her in the end, all the talk about her not being clever made me did the religious bits...& her sudden inability to do anything for herself after she had been so capable in the beginning of the book.)

This is a good book when you're feeling sad & blue, perhaps a tad under the weather, & it's raining. There's a c
I really enjoyed the first part of the story, but was very disappointed by the second part. I thought the second half of the story would be a commentary on domesticity and Victorian marriage, but instead it turned out to be a melodrama with racist undertones. Unfortunately just expected more from a book that is taught alongside P and P and Jane Eyre by some american colleges. Would still recommend though for the lovely first half of the story!
I had no idea that the Author of "The Little Princess" and "Secret Garden" actually wrote more than this (well, correction. I knew about "Little Lord Fauntleroy" but never read it but saw some TV movie of it.) This book is WONDERFUL!! It has shades (maybe more than shades) of "Little Princess" but is for adults. The main character is one of those you know is too good to be real but makes you want to strive to be like her. I cried several times and was satisfied at that end. I will probably read ...more
I read this because I could get it for free on Kindle--I was interested in seeing how Burnett writes for adults. The racism is typical for the time period, but no more pleasant because of that, and the main character is just a little too good. The moral of the story seems to be that if you allow yourself to be put upon by everybody, eventually everything will work out beautifully. For all my complaining, though,Burnett does keep things humming--it doesn't drag the way some books from that period ...more
Marya DeVoto
I haven't read this since I was a teenager and while the idea of a perfectly open and naturally aristocratic nature raising a woman from genteel poverty to titled riches makes the first half fairly readable, the harping on Emily's perfect normality and confiding childlike nature really cloys. The thing one likes about Mary Lennox and Sara Crewe, in her childre's books, is that they are NOT perfect paragons. I would much rather have read a book about the semi-evil Anglo-Indian wife of the heir.

Entertaining read. Went back into the time between the late Victorian and Early Edwardian times in England. In the beginning I can relate to Emily a tad bit. Though when she got married off, I couldn't relate to her. Ms.Burnett did write Emily so well that I still want to pull for her and want her life be happy. I find it fascinating to find out a small part of her life has inspired this book into being. Poor Frances with two failed marriages even though she made enough to support herself as a w ...more
It's true that the first part is better than the second part but all in all I really enjoyed reading this book. Also I highly recommend reading the preface and the afterword if you purchase this edition of The Making of a Marchioness!
Not my favorite of Frances Hodgson Burnett's novels for adults - some of those rival her children's classics - but it kept my interest. It is about a poor woman, of good family, who has to earn her own living in an era where there weren't many possibilities for a woman to do so. She is a kind person with an even temperament, who credits others with more kindness than deserved. She is invited to go to a house party in the country, where she is expected to work to keep the house party running & ...more
Good book, though certainly a product of its times. The main character, Emily Fox-Seton, though of good birth, is poor with no family that will support her and so she supports herself as a companion to those of the higher classes and by doing errands and tasks for them. She is very sweet and always of a sunny disposition and though not stupid is not terribly clever either. She manages, but knows that she must be frugal at all times. When she is invited to one of her patron's homes for the summer ...more
Source: Self-purchase.
Rating: 2 stars for okay.
Miss Emily Fox-Seton is an unmarried 34 year old woman living in London.
The time period is the Edwardian era, 1901-1910.
She is a loving and kind person. Her interests are for the benefit of others. She is proper, innocent, naive, gracious, and lady-like.
A benefactor provides a small income. Emily creates a life with gratitude and joy.
She is well-liked by all who know her.
Wealthy Lord Walderhurst is impressed with her reputation and bearing.
I bought this novel at Persephone books, after a long process of selection. I eventually picked it because Id already read something by Burnett, namely The Secret Garden, and liked that, as well as its status as a Persephone classic. This novel is described as a romance between two very unromantic characters, and thats just right. I loved the simple tale of Miss Fox-Seton getting by on a very low budget, but being a very happy and satisfied creature and helping others whenever she can. Though th ...more
This book is divided into two two parts; the first, a Cinderella story with elements of hyper realism - as the incredibly kind but unintelligent Emily Fox Seton works at a weekend party, and the reader sees her fears of how she will survive if she can not work. The interesting part of this character is how she has no desire or ambitions for marriage, but rather only hopes to be able to work to make her money, which is an interesting viewpoint to read from, as it reveals other ways women survived ...more
Emily Fox-Seton is, unfortunately, an impoverished young women with limited opportunities and largely depends upon the kindness of friends to carve out an existence in the world. But she is well liked by friends and acquaintances, who appreciate her good nature by largely taking advantage of her, and manages to land an invitation to Lady Maria Bayne’s house party at Mallowe Court where she meets a the Marquis, Lord Walderhurst. The first part of the novel covers Emily’s time at the party and her ...more
Before watching The Making of a Lady on PBS I had no idea that Frances Hodgson Burnett had written for adults and curiosity drove me to purchase and read The Making of a Marchioness. It bore little resemblance to the film, it lacked the romance and the action that a film requires to capture the attention of a broad audience. The book was much more sedate, in my opinion. There was still a threat to Emily's life and she was desperately in love with Lord Walderhurst, but all of the elements require ...more
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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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Other Books in the Series

Emily Fox-Seton (2 books)
  • The Methods of Lady Walderhurst

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“I am almost ashamed to answer,' she said. 'As I have said before, Emily
Fox-Seton has become the lodestar of my existence. I cannot live without
her. She has walked over to Maundell to make sure that we do not have a
dinner-party without fish to-night.'

'She has _walked_ over to Maundell,' said Lord Walderhurst--'after

'There was not a pair of wheels left in the stable,' answered Lady
Maria. 'It is disgraceful, of course, but she is a splendid walker, and
she said she was not too tired to do it. It is the kind of thing she
ought to be given the Victoria Cross for--saving one from a dinner-party
without fish.'

The Marquis of Walderhurst took up the cord of his monocle and fixed the
glass rigidly in his eye.

'It is not only four miles to Maundell,' he remarked, staring at the
table-cloth, not at Lady Maria, 'but it is four miles back.”
“He felt the scent and the golden glow of the sunset light as intensely as he felt the dead silence which reigned between himself and Hester almost with the effect of a physical presence.” 0 likes
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