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A Lady of Quality (A Lady of Quality #1)

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  370 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
On a wintry morning at the close of 1690- the sun shining faint and red through a light fog- there was a great noise of baying dogs- loud voices- and trampling of horses in the courtyard at Wildairs Hall.' (Excerpt)
ebook, 0 pages
Published January 1st 2010 by MobileReference (first published 1896)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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SmartBitches
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, b-grade
Full review at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

A Lady of Quality is a romance by Frances Hodgson Burnett, first published in 1896. If the name rings a bell, it’s because Burnett also wrote Little Lord Fauntleroy, A Little Princess, and The Secret Garden. Today Burnett is remembered for her children’s books, but she also wrote a lot of romantic novels for adults, one of which is A Lady of Quality.

It features melodrama – so much melodrama. People just don’t make melodrama like they used to.

The first th
...more
Sarah
Oct 14, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little known Gothic romance by the author of The Secret Garden. Many reviews criticize the unlikelihood of this story -- there definitely times where the story or characters seem to good to be true, still I enjoyed this story. I read part of it via a free eBook on Kindle and listened to most of it via free audio-book through Librivox. Once you reach Clorinda's teenage years the story picks up and draws you in. I could hardly put it down until I'd reached the end. It was a compelling read.

I did
...more
Angela
Sep 11, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have very mixed feelings about this book. I found none of the principle characters likeable--and some I thoroughly despised (which in two cases is the author's intent). However, the main character is a selfish, shallow woman who we are supposed to believe matures into a "lady of quality" despite her improbable and uncooth upbringing. The ultimate central point of the story is redemption; the question raised is whether the worst acts can be atoned for by subsequent charity, kindness, and goodne ...more
Arati
Kindle edition, in the public domain.

Burnett has been a favourite author since the days when I first read A Little Princess and The Secret Garden. This particular title hadn't come to my notice before, possibly because it is not exactly a children's book. It deals with some pretty adult subjects including promiscuity and murder, though in a slightly roundabout fashion most of the time.

I picked it off the Amazon website as I do with so many books these days simply because it was a. written by FH
...more
Sue
Mar 27, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, kindle, read-2014
There's a reason why some great writers produce books that are almost unknown. This one - a novel for adults - is a far remove from the author's delightful children's classics 'Secret Garden' or 'Little Lord Fauntleroy'. It features an eminently dislikeable heroine, Clorinda, whose mother died giving birth to her. Her father is appalling, her childhood a caricature of depravity, and her sudden about-turn into being a society lady very difficult to swallow.

I don't mind a slight excess of emotion
...more
Castiron
Jul 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
A larger-than-life heroine, drama, romance, villainy, dark secrets -- if all you've read of Burnett is The Secret Garden and A Little Princess, this book will make your head spin. This is one of my favorites of her books; it's not the best constructed, and yes, it's over-the-top in places, but that's what makes it so much fun to read.
Susan
Picture a girl raised by a harsh father who dotes on her because she is beautiful and willful. He dresses her up in boy's clothes and her crass language and company of her father's friends don't help. Then she decides she will one day (poof) become a lady and on a dime with her 'towering intellect' and all that rot goes on to do so. She now is a goddess, spurning lovers... well, maybe most of them... and having all fall at her willful and haughty feet due to her intelligence, wit and beauty. One ...more
Tintaglia
Aug 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, classics
3.5
Un gran divertimento dai toni gotici, finché le virtù femminili vittoriane non ci mettono lo zampino.
Cera
Apr 23, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a charming pastiche of the proto-novels found in early 18th century periodicals, written with only a few inevitable Victorian touches. The heroine, born in the late 17th century, is raised by her utterly disreputable father and his drunk hunting cronies; she wears boys clothes, rides like a man, and generally gets up to all sorts of mischief before determining that in order to have a comfortable future she needs to act like a woman & catch a rich husband. It's a marvelous romp; the h ...more
Kat
Apr 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, and wish that Frances Hodgson Burnett were better known for her works for adults, much as I love her more famous works for children. I also wish that modern romance novelists would take a cue or two from Clorinda -- guys, *this* is how you do the fiery-beauty-who-will-bow-to-no-unworthy-man type. Although the "happily ever after" part goes on a bit long for my taste, the scene between Anne and Clorinda at the end is excellent. I appreciated that even at the end, Clori ...more
Lauren Chong Sng
Jul 28, 2013 rated it liked it
i am loving this book. it's fun to read bc sentence structure is uncommon to me -- i have been reading aloud in order to appreciate the differences in the way i normally speak. reading e-versions is great for looking up words no longer in common usage.

the story is pretty fantastic, as in, sort of ridiculous, but that's the neat thing about fiction: a story can be anything you want it to be. everything about the heroine is the best of the best of the best. the author was good at repeating things
...more
Deborah
I can see why this is not at the top of the list for popularity for this author. There is something that just doesn't ring true about the development of the main character ... she turns out completely different from how she was raised. She inadvertently kills a man and then covers it up, going on with her life and trying to do good without ever facing up to the tragedy, enjoying peace and contentment and tranquility. Rather a puzzling book.
Cindy
Sep 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
I never realized that the author of The Secret Garden and the Little Princess wrote romantic adult novels. I very much enjoyed this story with it's extremely florid writing. Styles have definitely changed, but this was fun to read. I was rather shocked by what the heroine gets away with in the end.
Not what I had expected.
Becky Doyle
Jun 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My opinion of the book improved as it went on. It starts terribly, but picks up considerably! Despite the unrealistic heroine, I was touched by the ending. Overall, it was an interesting look at what the author considered to be an "old-fashioned" novel during her own time.
Gloriamarie
Gotta tell you, I think readers today will either love this book or hate and I think a lot of people will overlook that Burnett was really something of a feminist because of all the melodrama. Oh, the melodrama.

Personally, I loved it. But I can also recommend that you read the synopsis on the website below because the description Goodreads offers does not begin to the plot justice. I could write a description but I so much enjoyed the way Carrie write this. Warning for Carrie S's rather purple l
...more
Fatima
Oct 03, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This would've worked well as a shorter tale because I'm pretty sure about half the book was just sappy descriptions of the physical beauty, strength, and radiance of an entirely unlikeable and unrealistic personality. The only reason I stuck through to the end is so I could find out what became of Anne, who, though also painted as a one-dimensional figure, redeemed herself by the end.

And what happened to Barbara??? Besides one sentence somewhere in the middle, we never hear of her again!! So di
...more
Patrizia
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inaspettatamente, la Burnett della mia letteratura infantile si rivela autrice di un romanzo dalle tinte forti. La storia, che segue i tempi e i modi della narrativa settecentesca, viene da lei collocata in un periodo sufficientemente lontano (tra sei e settecento) da fare accettare al proprio pubblico il crudo realismo (a metà tra Henry Fielding e Edgar Allan Poe) che a tratti la pervade.
La scrittura obiettiva, fredda fino a essere spietata, la varietà dei personaggi, la suspense, i colpi di s
...more
Nina
Jan 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: grown-up
You may think that Burnett wrote children's books because you've read The Secret Garden but she wrote mostly adult books. This book was written in 1896 but it's set in an older England. It's an odd book for a modern reader. It is a historical romance that is partially critical of religion and faith but ends up deeply steeped in religious language. It features an incredibly strong and strong willed central female character that is unwilling to cower or bow before any man. Nonetheless, once she me ...more
MaryBliss
Really 2 and a half stars. I kept me intrigued but it didn't inspire me. It's an interesting story who's frequent implausibility made me have to suspend belief a lot in order to follow it. It reads rather like a gothic novel without the ghosts. I found that after I had finished it I did not spend much time thinking about the characters in the book, but I did find myself musing quite a bit on whatever whatever could have been going through Burnett's mind when she spun such a melodramatic yarn. Sh ...more
Nathalia
Jul 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1800s, feminism
I listened to this story from a librivox recording, and at a point in time when I was feeling of low confidence. I must say, the larger-than-life heroine really inspired me in this condition, because she was very different from what people expected of her, and she did not mind, and in the end had a very nice life.

“All that I do is right—for me. I make it so by doing it. Do you think that I am conquered by the laws that other women crouch and whine before, because they dare not break them, though
...more
Carole
Apr 08, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Got this on the strength of having enjoyed The Secret Garden, which I have read more than once. Unfortunately A Lady of Quality is nowhere near as good. It's so full of superlatives I wanted to laugh out loud (or scream) most of the time. The storyline is okay, though impossible to take seriously. I won't be rushing to read any more F H Burnett books. It took me ages to work my way through this one as I read several other books in between reading bits of this. Only finished it because I hate not ...more
Wealhtheow
Jul 06, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
A melodramatic, wholly unbelievable and highly unrealistic view of a willful, stubborn, and high spirited woman’s rise to power in early eighteenth century England. Raised by a drunken lout of a father, Clorinda rides wild horses and carouses to keep up with even the most degenerate of his fellows. When she comes of age, she decides to become a proper lady. I loved Clorinda, for who could not—I have never read another heroine of so wild of spirit yet such aself-controlled manner. I especially lo ...more
Kate
A novel in the best tradition of Victorian schlock, featuring crossdressing, murder, premarital sex, and lots of treacly moralizing.

The most memorable scene is the one in which (view spoiler)
Judy
Jun 10, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this free download to my Kindle. I would have liked to have given it more than 3 stars but the heroine was just too "perfect" for my tastes. I don't believe that anyone can be so "good" -- good as a hoyden until she turned 15 and then good as a "lady." However, I did read all of it; the writing was "funny" in places, probably because the author wrote it quite some time ago and the writing was probably current.
Greymalkin
Jan 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dawn
Sep 29, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I enjoy melodramatic classics but this one is over the top-for example Gerald's love letter at around the 75% mark of story. Throughout the story how many times did the words Goddess and Worship appear? I lost count. I'm sorry but any woman who kills a little dog is not "a lady of quality" in my opinion.
Abbie
May 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an entertaining book to listen to as a Librivox recording while planting the garden. I enjoyed the story and am reminded of how much loved The Secret Garden a couple of years ago. I will explore other Librivox recordings of this wonderful author.
Debbie Brown
Sep 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
This was probably one of the most unusual books I have read. For at least half the book I didn't like the heroine and wasn't even sure she was supposed to be the heroine. It had lots of mysteries, but ended happily. It was quite religious at the end which was also surprising.
Lia Turnbull
To anyone considering reading this book I can say this: the main character is a dynamic character, which makes a great part of the book a bit frustrating, but there is a redemptive theme in the ending. Nevertheless, I'm afraid it is my least favorite of Francis Hogson Burnett's books.
fearthainn
Jun 04, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Terrible. None of the characters have any redeeming features, and the premise is if you're a good person it's totes okay if you murder someone! Just feed some orphans later, that totally makes up for it!
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2041
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...

Other Books in the Series

A Lady of Quality (2 books)
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“All that I do is right—for me. I make it so by doing it. Do you think that I am conquered by the laws that other women crouch and whine before, because they dare not break them, though they long to do so? I am my own law—and the law of some others.” 5 likes
“There were in this strange nature, depths so awful and profound that it was not to be sounded or to be judged as others were. But one thing could have melted or caused the unconquerable spirit to bend, and this was the overwhelming passion of love--not a slight, tender feeling, but a great and powerful one, such as could be awakened but by a being of as strong and deep a nature as itself, one who was in all things its peer.” 3 likes
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