Little Lord Fauntleroy – Frances Hodgson Burnett

[Conclusion in English at the bottom of the post]

Bagai ketiban durian runtuh. Itulah yang dialami Cedric Errol, bocah laki-laki berusia tujuh tahun yang harus kehilangan ayahnya di usia yang sangat muda. Suatu hari, si kecil Cedric yang hidup pas-pasan  bersama ibunya (yang dipanggil oleh Cedric dengan sebutan “Dearest”) dikagetkan dengan kedatangan seorang pengacara, Mr. Havisham, yang mengabarkan bahwa Cedric adalah Lord Fauntleroy, pewaris tunggal Earl of Dorincourt, bangsawan Inggris yang kaya raya.

Memang ayah Ceddie kecil, Kapten Cedric Errol Sr., adalah putra termuda sang Earl, namun karena sang Kapten memiliki dua orang kakak lelaki, dan karena keputusannya untuk menikahi seorang perempuan Amerika yang memancing kemarahan ayahnya, maka sang Kapten pun tidak beroleh bagian apa-apa dari kekayaan sang Earl. Namun ketika ketiga putranya meninggal dunia, sang Earl pun tidak mempunyai pilihan selain memanggil Ceddie kecil dan membawanya ke Dorincourt Castle untuk dididik menjadi penerusnya.

Ceddie harus berhadapan dengan sang kakek yang terkenal angkuh dan tidak ramah, namun dengan watak kanak-kanaknya yang polos dan menggemaskan, dan dalam beberapa hal menunjukkan “kedewasaan”, ia berhasil mencairkan hati sang kakek yang telah lama kaku dan dingin.

“He seems to be a very mature little fellow,” Mr. Havisham said to the mother.

“I think he is, in some things,” she answered. “He has always been very quick to learn, and he has lived a great deal with grown-up people. He has a funny little habit of using long words and expressions he has read in books, or has heard others use, but he is very fond of childish play. I think he is rather clever, but he is a very boyish little boy sometimes.”

Kisah Ceddie dalam Little Lord Fauntleroy ini sangat khas Frances Hodgson Burnett, yang dibungkus dengan bahasa yang indah, dan sarat nilai moral berharga khususnya terhadap anak-anak; yaitu tetaplah mempunyai hati yang baik, tulus, dan murni, tidak peduli apapun yang terjadi dalam hidupmu, dalam keadaan miskin maupun kaya. Walau menurut saya, karakter Ceddie berikut beberapa karakter lain (misalnya “Dearest”, yaitu ibu dari Ceddie), digambarkan dengan agak terlalu sempurna. Mereka sempurna secara fisik, juga punya hati yang mulia. Setelah membaca tiga karya Frances Hodgson Burnett, saya harus tetap mengakui The Secret Garden sebagai favorit saya, dengan karakter utama Mary Lennox yang bertumbuh dari anak kecil yang muram dan menyebalkan, menjadi lebih ceria dan pengasih. Little Lord Fauntleroy sudah pernah diterjemahkan ke bahasa Indonesia oleh penerbit Read! dalam bentuk nomik (novel-komik) dengan judul “Ceddie”. Reviewnya bisa dibaca di sini.

“Nothing in the world is so strong as a kind heart, though it was only the heart of a child, seemed to clear all the atmosphere of the big gloomy room and make it brighter.”

 

“Oh, Ceddie,” she had said to him the evening before, as she hung over him in saying goodnight before he went away, “oh, Ceddie, dear, I wish for your sake I was very clever and could say a great many wise things! But only be good, dear, only be brave, only be kind and true always, and then you will never hurt anyone so long as you live, and you may help many, and the big world may be better because my little child was born. And that is best of all, Ceddie—it is better than everything else, that the world should be a little better because of a man has lived—even ever so little better, dearest.”

Detail buku:
“Little Lord Fauntleroy”, oleh Frances Hodgson Burnett
172 halaman, diterbitkan 2002 oleh Dover Publications (pertama kali diterbitkan tahun 1886)
My rating: ♥ ♥ ♥


 

Conclusion:

Little Lord Fauntleroy is a story of a little boy, Cedric “Ceddie” Errol, who was told when he was seven, that he was the only surviving heir of the Earl of Dorincourt. There goes a typical Cinderella story when one was being saved from poverty to unspeakable wealth. But then, little Ceddie had to face his cold-hearted grandfather, and had to learn of the ways of a lord, as he was going to be the future Earl of Dorincourt. With his adorable way of mixture between childishness and maturity, slowly but surely he melted the old grandfather’s stout heart. This story of little Ceddie is so typical Frances Hodgson Burnett, with her beautiful writing style and moral values for children. But I have to stick with The Secret Garden as my favorite of Mrs. Burnett’s works, because I didn’t like how Ceddie (along with some other characters, like his mother) was described to be “too good to be true”, without having any flaw. I think I like Mary Lennox from The Secret Garden more, even though she was an annoying little girl at first, but as the story went, she learned and grew. Three stars for Little Lord Fauntleroy.

8th review for The Classics Club Project, 2nd review for A Victorian Celebration, 4th review for The Classic Bribe

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