08 October 2012

Back to Burnett: His Grace of Osmonde

Kindle eBook, n.pag.
Published 2005 (originally 1897)

Read July 2012
His Grace of Osmonde: Being the portions of that nobleman's life omitted in the relation of his Lady's story presented to the World of Fashion under the title of A Lady of Quality by Frances Hodgson Burnett

A Lady of Quality wasn't my favorite book by Frances Hodgson Burnett-- it's no Through One Administration or The Shuttle-- but it's still a pretty good read, so I was looking forward to reading this book, which retells the events of Lady of Quality from that book's protagonist's husband's perspective. Is the first sidequel in literature? Probably not, but 1897 does seem kinda early for this kind of thing.

Unfortunately, His Grace of Osmonde adds nothing to A Lady of Quality other than creepiness; you learn that Osmonde knew of Clorinda long before she knew of him. I don't really know what this is meant to add, but we learn nothing about Osmonde beyond the fact that he is your typical Burnett male: a fine specimen of manhood with no personality. There could be some potential with Osmonde's knowledge that Clorinda murdered her first lover, but it's completely unrealized. Utterly pointless in every way, and it actually dampened my appreciation of Lady of Quality in retrospect.

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