bunn: (George Smiley)
[personal profile] bunn
I recently read "The Lost Prince" by Frances Hodgson Burnett (yes, the 'Secret Garden' lady) at the recommendation of [livejournal.com profile] sineala.  It's a flawed book in some ways (let us just say that the Lost Prince takes a ridiculously long time to figure out that he is, in fact, in a book called 'the Lost Prince') but it also has a lot of charm.  One of its great points is its setting in a sort of alternative early twentieth century Europe, in which there are political tensions, and an extra country called Samavia - but no First World War.

The book was published in 1915, but I would really love to know *when* in 1915, and whether it was written before the declaration of war, or during the early months, or...  what.

I have this great desire to find out: is FHB deliberately writing the War out of her version of history, or did she think it was a minor scuffle that would be over by Christmas, or did she just not see it coming?

Anyone with any ideas where to look to discover this?

(If anyone wants to read it, it's free on Gutenberg but the Gutenberg record doesn't contain the covers or endpapers and things that might give a hint in a paper copy, so no clues there.)

Edited because this absolutely has to have my George Smiley icon, because Smiley taught me about Estonia and Latvia and Lithuania, back in the days of the Cold War, when those little lands were lost, as far as we knew then, forever disappeared, along with so many of their population, into the Soviet Union.  Even now, those names have a strange magic for me, because I met them first as Lost Lands of desperate memory, and now they are real again. 

Date: 2013-12-16 01:28 pm (UTC)
ext_189645: (Default)
From: [identity profile] bunn.livejournal.com
I just tried a different way of searching, and found:
http://web.archive.org/web/20080930034943/http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/BurLoPr.html

The header and 'Front Matter' pages there give the copyright and first publication date as 1914, which certainly suggests that the book was written, if not entirely pre WW1, then at least substantially before the scale and horror of the war was really clear.

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