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Jeff Steiner talks with Americans living in France
Long time French resident Jeff Steiner talks with Americans living in France about their daily lives, French culture, working in France and many other topics.
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Starting with a summary of the 1922 novel The Head of the House of Coombe, which followed the relationships between a group of pre-WWI English nobles and commoners, this sequel, called Robin, completes the story of Robin, Lord Coombe, Donal and Feather. (Introduction by Linda Andrus)
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Rosalie Vanderpoel, the daughter of an American multimillionaire marries an impoverished English baronet and goes to live in England. She all but loses contact with her family in America. Years later her younger sister Bettina, beautiful, intelligent and extremely rich, goes to England to find what has happened to her sister. She finds Rosalie shabby and dispirited, cowed by her husband's ill treatment. Bettina sets about to rectify matters. She meets Lord Mount Dunstan, an impoverished earl, who lives nearby and they fall in love, but he cannot speak because it would look as if he were after her money... This is a romance but it is also about the rejuvenating effects of Americans and American money on a somewhat decadent English aristocracy. (Summary by Tabithat)
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In mid-1880s Brooklyn, New York, Cedric Errol lives with his Mother (never named, known only as Mrs Errol or “dearest”) in genteel poverty after his Father Captain Errol dies...
In mid-1880s Brooklyn, New York, Cedric Errol lives with his Mother (never named, known only as Mrs Errol or “dearest”) in genteel poverty after his Father Captain Errol dies. They receive a visit from Havisham, an English lawyer with a message from Cedric’s grandfather, Lord Dorincourt. Cedric is now Lord Fauntleroy and heir to the Earldom and a vast estate. The Earl wants Cedric to live with him and learn to be an English aristocrat. He offers Mrs Errol a house and income but refuses to meet or have anything to do with her. The crusty Earl is impressed by the appearance and intelligence of his young American grandson, and charmed by his innocent nature. He admits that Cedric, who has befriended and cared for the poor and needy on the Earl’s estate, will be a better Earl than he was. A pretender to Cedric’s inheritance appears, but the claim is investigated and disproved with the assistance of Cedric’s loyal American friends. The Earl is reconciled to his son’s American widow. The Earl had intended to teach his grandson how to be an aristocrat; however, Cedric inadvertently teaches his grand-father that an aristocrat should practice compassion and social justice towards persons who are dependent on him. The Earl becomes the kind and good man Cedric always innocently believed him to be. Cedric is reunited with his mother, who comes to live in the ancestral castle with them. “Little Lord Fauntleroy” is the first children’s novel written by English–American playwright and author Frances Hodgson Burnett.
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One of the most delightful and enduring classics of children's literature, The Secret Garden by Victorian author Frances Hodgson Burnett has remained a firm favorite with children the world over ever since it made its first appearance...
One of the most delightful and enduring classics of children's literature, The Secret Garden by Victorian author Frances Hodgson Burnett has remained a firm favorite with children the world over ever since it made its first appearance. Initially published as a serial story in 1910 in The American Magazine, it was brought out in novel form in 1911. The plot centers round Mary Lennox, a young English girl who returns to England from India, having suffered the immense trauma by losing both her parents in a cholera epidemic. However, her memories of her parents are not pleasant, as they were a selfish, neglectful and pleasure-seeking couple. Mary is given to the care of her uncle Archibald Craven, whom she has never met. She travels to his home, Misselthwaite Manor located in the gloomy Yorkshire, a vast change from the sunny and warm climate she was used to. When she arrives, she is a rude, stubborn and given to stormy temper tantrums. However, her nature undergoes a gradual transformation when she learns of the tragedies that have befallen her strict and disciplinarian uncle whom she earlier feared and despised. Once when he's away from home, Mary discovers a charming walled garden which is always kept locked. The mystery deepens when she hears sounds of sobbing from somewhere within her uncle's vast mansion. The kindly servants ignore her queries or pretend they haven't heard, spiking Mary's curiosity. The Secret Garden appeals to both young and old alike. It has wonderful elements of mystery, spirituality, charming characters and an authentic rendering of childhood emotions and experiences. Commonsense, truth and kindness, compassion and a belief in the essential goodness of human beings lie at the heart of this unforgettable story. It is the best known of Frances Hodgson Burnett's works, though most of us have definitely heard of, if not read, her other novel Little Lord Fauntleroy. The book has been adapted extensively on stage, film and television and translated into all the world's major languages. In 1991, a Japanese anime version was launched for television in Japan. It remains a popular and beloved story of a child's journey into maturity, and a must-read for every child, parent, teacher and anyone who would enjoy this fascinating glimpse of childhood.

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