Little Lord Fauntleroy

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Novel by Frances H. Burnett, published in 1886 and dramatized by the author in 1888.

The son of an English earl alienates his arrogant old father by marrying an American, who after his death raises their son in New York, calling him Cedric Errol. The boy wears his hair in long curls, converses with grave volubility, and endears himself to everyone by his cheerfulness, generosity, and affection. His special friends are Mr. Hobbs the grocer and Dick the bootblack, whom he leaves regretfully when he goes to England as heir to Dorincourt, following the deaths of his uncles. As Lord Fauntleroy he is indulged by the gouty old earl, who, however, refuses to meet the boy's mother, giving her a house nearby, where the seven-year-old lord visits her daily. Fauntleroy enjoys his new wealth and wins his grandfather's devotion, persuading him to undertake charitable projects and improve his tenants' living conditions. When another American woman appears to claim the estate for her son, the earl is furious but helpless. Dick, in New York, recognizes the woman from a newspaper picture as the former wife of his brother Ben. With Mr. Hobbs the brothers go to England and discredit the woman's false claim. The earl is reconciled with Fauntleroy's mother, and the three live happily at Dorincourt.

Subjects: Literature.

Reference entries

Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849—1924) children's writer and novelist

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