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A Little Princess

A Little Princess


by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Sara Crewe Timeline and Summary

  • Sara travels to England with her father, Ralph Crewe because he is sending her to boarding school.
  • When they arrive, they go to Miss Minchin's Seminary and Sara finds the whole place kind of bleak.
  • She stays with her father in his hotel and he buys her lots of nice things before he leaves.
  • Then she goes to the boarding school and he goes back to India.
  • Sara is very sad, but she goes to school.
  • School isn't too great, but she does befriend a girl named Ermengarde and they decide to be BFFs. She also makes friends with a scullery maid named Becky and a little girl named Lottie.
  • Sara gets very exciting news that her father is investing in diamond mines—diamonds!
  • But on her eleventh birthday, she learns that the mines have failed and her father is dead. She's orphaned and broke.
  • Miss Minchin puts her right to work, and Sara's life goes downhill fast.
  • The one bright spot is her new friend, Melchisedec.
  • Things get worse and worse, even though a Mysterious Stranger with an Indian servant moves in next door.
  • Unbeknownst to Sara, this guy is looking for a little girl who sounds, well, a lot like her.
  • Meanwhile, Sara and Becky are hungry and cold. But Sara still manages to be a class act, even giving away food to a beggar girl when she's nearly starving.
  • One night, Sara gets in Super Big trouble, and she's facing days without food.
  • But when she wakes up, her room has been transformed and filled with nice things, a warm fire, and good food. She invites Becky over to join in on it.
  • The food and nice things keep coming and Sara and Becky become stronger, happier and healthier. Sara even gets a package of nice clothes in the mail.
  • Things are looking up!
  • One night, Sara is in her magical little attic room when she finds the monkey from next door.
  • When she takes him back the next day, the Indian man questions her and realizes that she is the orphaned daughter of his late friend, Ralph Crewe.
  • Surprise, surprise! Now things are really looking up, and she even gets to tell off Miss Minchin.
  • Sara has a new father-figure, a nice house, and, oh yeah, a new maid, Becky.
  • In a final act of royal generosity, Sara tells a baker that she will pay for her to give bread to all the hungry children.
  • But the baker does her one better: she's taken in the beggar girl who Sara gave the buns too.