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A Little Princess


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Author: Frances Hodgson Burnett

Illustrator: Harold Piffard

BURNETT, Frances Hodgson. A Little Princess. Being the Whole Story of Sara Crewe Now Told for the First Time. With Original Illustrations in Colour by Harold Piffard. London: Frederick Warne and Co [1905]. 8vo, xii 302pp +6 advts. Blue-green cloth decoratively stamped in gilt and dark green with color pictorial label affixed to the front. Patterned endpapers; 8 color plates. Spine ends a bit rubbed, corners less so, slight foxing to fore edge, else a remarkably clean, bright copy.

First edition (the UK and US issues having been released on the same date in 1905). Burnett took her 1887 novella, Sara Crewe, and expanded it into the 1902 play – A Little Un-fairy Princess – that debuted in London to great success, and then adapted her play into this expanded novel which came out nearly 20 after the original book had first been published.  The riches-to-rags story of Sara Crewe, an exceptionally intelligent and imaginative student at Miss Minchin's Select Seminary for Young Ladies, who is suddenly left both penniless and an orphan when her beloved father dies overseas. Now destitute and banished to a room in the attic, Sara is demeaned and abused by the cruel Miss Minchin as she struggles to keep her dignity while working as a servant. How this resourceful girl's courage, fortitude, and kindness allow her to survive until her fortunes change again makes for one of Burnett’s best-loved stories.