A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

When I was around the age of Sara Crewe, I had seen the 1995 movie adaptation of this book and liked it. It was magical. I really adored the message about every girl being a princess and the sense of magic in the work. I didn’t know how true the movie was to the book until now.

At first, I did not love Sara. I found her a bit precocious. I’m not a fan of overly precocious or clever children in books. It’s why I couldn’t read past the Artemis Fowl or Flavia de Luce books. Sara is more than clever child though and once the major conflict of her becoming poor happens, the story is much more engrossing. The reader sees Sara’s resilience and spirit. The plot highlights her good heart and imagination. It is just lovely. It reminded me of being a little girl again actually.

As a classic, it is universal because it highlights the differences between people who have and have not and how to weather turbulent times. Sara’s kind and good heart teaches that there is also someone who has it worse off. I liked that Sara had her own moments of doubt, insecurity, and even violent thoughts. She was not perfect, but the writer made her just good enough.

I really enjoyed the work and I would definitely recommend to young girls.

Read Dec 28, 2013.

A Little Princess (1995)

I have not seen this movie since I was a kid. I remember it fondly. Unsurprisingly, I am a fan of the director Alfonso Cuarón. I did not know of him at the time, but when I watched The Great Expectations and Y Tu Mama Tambien, I grew to really like his work. He has this ability to capture magical and memorable moments and create distinct atmosphere on film.

Before watching this movie, I was a bit nervous to see if it was as good as I remembered. It holds up well over time. They changed a few things: the settings (New York and WWI), circumstances, Becky and the ending. As a World War I movie, it works a bit too. Sara is more mischievous in the movie, and I don’t think the movie made it as bad as it was in the book.

I think it captures much of the spirit of the book. It works very well as a children’s movie too. I’m glad I was able to rematch it after all this.

Rewatched Dec 28, 2013.

4 thoughts on “A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

  • Elena W

    I found your lovely review through The Classics Club! I just recently read A Little Princess and adored it! I agree with you and precocious children being annoying, and agreed that she was clever but that she wasn’t annoyingly so. Her kindness and generosity amidst her own poor conditions in the second half of the book, is what really endeared me to her. I watched the film after I finished it since I had last seen it as a child as well. It was just as lovely as I remembered it, though it was interesting that a few key points were changed (the father’s fate, for example).

    I will link my Goodreads review of the book, if interested!


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