|Lord Fauntleroy Writes a Letter|
From the 1886 Book
Just recently I did some research into the ""Little Lord Fauntleroy" movement of the late nineteenth century. (Before my time. And I am sticking by that.)
"Little Lord Fauntleroy" is a novel by the English-American writer Frances Hodgson Burnett, her first children's novel. It was published as a serial in St. Nicholas Magazine from November 1885 to October 1886 (common for that day), then as a book by Scribner's publishing in 1886.
|Boy photographed in a|
Little Lord Fauntleroy suit.
The stories and book's impact on children's fashion was enormous. The Fauntleroy suit, (also known as the Buster Brown suit) so well described by Burnett and realized in Reginald Birch's detailed pen-and-ink drawings, created a fad for formal dress for American middle-class children
From the Book:
What the Earl saw was a graceful, childish figure in a black velvet suit, with a lace collar, and with lovelocks waving about the handsome, manly little face, whose eyes met his with a look of innocent good-fellowship. — Little Lord Fauntleroy
I believe a Americanized version of Little Lord Fauntleroy (Buster Brown) came later and started as a comic strip character in 1902. I remember as a child getting "Buster Brown Shoes" and seeing illustration of the fictional Buster Brown. "Oh yuck" my outside self commented, all the while longing to be dressed that way - and more. Anyone else remember Buster Brown Shoes? I think they had an androgynous "Mary Jane" look with a strap and buckle.
The Fauntleroy suit appeared in Europe as well but nowhere was it as popular as in America. The classic Fauntleroy suit was a velvet cut-away jacket and matching knee pants, worn with a fancy blouse and a large lace or ruffled collar. These suits appeared right after the publication of Burnett's story (1885) and were a major fashion for boys until after the turn of the 20th century. Many boys who did not wear an actual Fauntleroy suit wore suits with Fauntleroy elements, such as a fancy blouse or floppy bow. Only a minority of boys wore ringlet curls with these suits, but the photographic record confirms that many boys did.
| Buster Brown & Dog Tige Heart Shaped Balloons |
Pre-1907 From Ebay