Little Lord Fauntleroy, getting reacquainted with the most beautiful book of my childhood.
Once, when I was 6 or 7 years old, I read Little Lord Fauntleroy, a book written by Frances Hodgson Burnett. And when I finished it I read it again … and again. And I never forgot. It was my first book with people from the grown ups world, where people could be mean. And then there was this little boy, capable of making these mean people nice and happy again. It fired my imagination to leave your own trusted surroundings and take a boat across the sea, no land around you and surrendered to God’s mercy and to go to a country and live in a castle.
The area around the castle, the people, those common English characters, they all became clearly visible by the words in that book, well, the image I created of it. I thoroughly enjoyed those typical old fashioned English habits, take my cap of to greet someone, wearing a cap or a hat itself was a new experience. In my mind I went down the stairs in the enormous hall of that castle (being 6 or 7, sliding down the bannister). I had a knot in my stomach reading about a little boy that wasn’t allowed to see his own mother anymore, sweat drops ran down my face when dark clouds came over the little boys life when someone else demanded to take his place. Such a relieve when it all came to a good end.
The book went where ever I went. And every once in a while I took it off the shelve and thought back to the time I was 6 or 7 (and again I went down the bannister of that staircase in the hall of that castle).
When I was 19 years old I went on a boat to England, water surrounded me, and I remembered that book. I arrived in England and came to live in a mansion, my own castle. Not many people can say the same, that they went on a journey just like that Little Lord. I enjoyed it. And yes I went down the stairs like that little boy. I viewed the land around it from high over the walls to the horses that were running in the distance. The farm, the church, the main entrance with big stone eagles left and right. And it was exactly like the image I created as a child from the book Little Lord Fauntleroy, only it was real. I took the book and read a few pages again.
And now I am 39. I sit here enjoying myself in the sun, utterly content with my life, on this camping site. I got a book as a birthday gift. Not just a book, an English book. I am reading Little Lord Fauntleroy again. With my eyes closed I can see it all again, and I slide down those stairs …