A Few of My Favorite Things, #8: A Little Princess

“It’s true,” she said. “Sometimes I do pretend I am a princess. I pretend I am a princess, so that I can try and behave like one.” —Frances Hodgson Burnett, A Little Princess

One of my favorite movies growing up was A Little Princess (the 1995 Alfonso Cuarón version). I actually didn’t read the book until I was in college, and even though the book and movie are vastly different, I love them both. I think it’s a rare case where the movie actually manages to capture the spirit of the book, despite the fact that a lot of major details (in setting, plot, and characters alike) are changed. I might be biased, though, as I knew and loved the movie first—I might have been annoyed with all the changes if I’d known the original story.

“Whatever comes,” she said, “cannot alter one thing. If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it.” —Frances Hodgson Burnett, A Little Princess

I always related to Sara’s character—the daydreamer who takes the younger girls under her wing, tells imaginative stories, and loves reading (and also hates being interrupted while she reads). The book also speaks to the universal worth of the human spirit, despite external circumstances; of cultivating virtue through trials and suffering; and of finding wonder and joy in ordinary things.

“When you will not fly into a passion people know you are stronger than they are, because you are strong enough to hold in your rage, and they are not, and they say stupid things they wish they hadn’t said afterward.” —Frances Hodgson Burnett, A Little Princess

If I’m having a bad day, watching A Little Princess always makes me feel better. (I feel similarly about the 1994 version of Little Women.)


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