The Shuttle is tightly-woven, multi-genre tale

When she learns of her sister’s engagement, eight-year-old Bettina “Betty” Vanderpoel cries, “He’ll do something awful to you….He’ll nearly kill you. I know he will.”

Sir Nigel Anstruthers turns out as nasty as Betty predicts.

The Shuttle by Frances Hodgson Burnett
1908 bestseller #5.
Project Gutenberg ebook #506. My grade: A-.

Green, hilly English countryside with a few sheep grazing, no people in sight.When he realizes Reuben Vanderpoel won’t support him, Sir Nigel craftily isolates Rosalie from family back in New York, then bullies her into transferring her property to him.

While Rosalie withers, Betty is educated in France, Germany, and in company of her astute capitalist father.

At 20, Betty goes to England to see Rosalie.

Sir Nigel has thoroughly cowed Rosalie and Ughtred, his son to whom the estate is entailed.

Betty takes charge, using her charm and her father’s money to make the estate liveable and her sister comfortable.

Inevitably, the Vanderpoel heiress is swarmed by suitors.

Betty’s heart, however, throbs for Lord Mount Duncan, who scorns the practice of marrying American money to put a deteriorating English estate to rights.

Although Frances Hodgson Burnett gives the novel the love-interest of a romance and the suspense of a thriller, the novel is deeper than those categories.

Burnett explores personalities, digs into gender roles, and shows how England and America were separated by culture and reunited by money.

© 2016 Linda Gorton Aragoni


Published by

Linda G. Aragoni

I make big ideas simple for learners. In eight sentences, 34 words, I taught teens and adults to write competently. Now I'm writing guides to turn willing volunteers into great nursing home visitors.

3 thoughts on “The Shuttle is tightly-woven, multi-genre tale”

  1. Hello! I can’t tell you how excited I am to have found this blog and I wonder if, there ever comes a need or I have enough time to sit down and ask, I could ever use you as a resource. I have embarked on a project of transcribing my grandmother’s journals from 80 years ago and she was a reader. A lot of the books she writes about reading are hard to find with a cursory internet search but some day I’d like to read what she was reading. I might like to ask you about a couple titles sometime you might know about them! Until then, I look forward to following.


    1. I’m always glad to hear from readers. There’s a form on the contact page you may use. I usually respond to questions, although, depending on what I’m involved in at the time, I might not respond promptly: Life sometimes gets complicated.

      I’m intrigued by your bio. I’ve been a writer most of my adult life, but nonfiction is my field. (My first published newspaper story was on a municipal bond sale to fund a county sewer system, first published magazine story was about a farmer who installed a manure storage tank, first published book about how to install steam turbines.)

      In the last 15 or so years, I’ve concentrated on teaching teachers how to teach nonfiction writing. Because English teachers freak out when they hear about the kind of writing I do, I’ve made my long-time hobby of reading and reviewing old novels into a kind of “see, I don’t bite” demonstration.

      As a fellow writer, may I offer a suggestion? Put your name on your blog and on everything you write. These days you need a following before you’re ready to publish. You want people to know you and feel a personal connection to your work. So….name and photo at minimum.

      All the best to you.


      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello Linda, If I ever ask for any info on old books I’ll be patient and I thank you for being open.
        I’m excited by the story of your career. Congrats! There is a lot to be proud of.
        Thank you for the advice here. I am certainly going to take it. Happy December!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.