- Frances Hodgson Burnett
name =Frances Hodgson Burnett
birthdate = birth date|1849|11|24|df=y
Cheetham Hill, Manchester1
deathdate = death date and age|1924|10|29|1849|11|24|df=y
Plandome, New York City
genre = Fantasy,
Frances Hodgson Burnett, (
November 24, 1849- October 29, 1924) was an English–American playwrightand author. She is best known for her children's stories, in particular " The Secret Garden", " A Little Princess", and " Little Lord Fauntleroy".
Life and work
Born Frances Eliza Hodgson (also known as Frances "Hopey" Benson) in
Cheetham Hill, Manchester, her father died in 1854, leaving her mother to support five children. They had to endure poverty and squalor in the Victorian slums of Manchester. She emigrated to Knoxville, Tennesseein the United Statesin 1865. The move, which they made at the request of an uncle, made no difference to the family's poverty, but at least they were now living in a better environment. She lived in a house in New Market TN NE of Knoxville off of 11E and there is a sign posted in front of the house with some of these details posted in front. Following the death of her mother in 1867, an 18-year-old Frances was now the head of a family of two younger siblings. She turned to writing to support them all, with a first story published in " Godey's Lady's Book" in 1868. Soon after she was being published regularly in Godey's, " Scribner's Monthly", " Peterson's Ladies' Magazine" and " Harper's Bazaar". Her main writing talent was combining realistic detail of working-class life with a romantic plot.
She married Dr. Swan Burnett of
Washington, D.C.in 1873.
Her first novel was published in 1877; "
That Lass o' Lowrie's" was a story of Lancashirelife.
After moving with her husband to Washington, D.C., Burnett wrote the novels "
Haworth's" (1879), "Louisiana" (1880), " A Fair Barbarian" (1881), and " Through One Administration" (1883), as well as a play, "Esmeralda" (1881), written with William Gillette.
In 1886 she published "
Little Lord Fauntleroy". It was originally intended as a children's book, but had a great appeal to mothers. It created a fashion of long curls (based on her son Vivian's) and velvet suits with lace collars (based on Oscar Wilde's attire). The book sold more than half a million copies. In 1888 she won a lawsuit in England over the dramatic rights to "Little Lord Fauntleroy", establishing a precedent that was incorporated into British copyright lawin 1911.
In 1898 she divorced Dr. Burnett. She later re-married, this time to Stephen Townsend (1900), her business manager. Her second marriage would last less than two years, ending in 1902.
Her later works include " [http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/137 Sara Crewe] " (1888) - later rewritten as "
A Little Princess" (1905); " [http://www.classicistranieri.com/fiction/1/5/5/1550/1550-h/1550-h.htm The Lady of Quality] " (1896) - considered one of the best of her plays; and " The Secret Garden" (1909), the children's novel for which she is probably best known today. "The Lost Prince" was published in 1915, and "The Head of the House of Coombe" was published in Canada in 1922. "The Making of a Marchioness" was published in 1911 and was one of Nancy Mitford's favourite books, mentioned in Love in a Cold Climate. [See v of the Preface by Isabel Raphael in the 2001 Persephone Booksreissue of the text.]
In 1893 she published a memoir of her youth, "
The One I Knew Best of All". From the mid-1890s she lived mainly in England, and in particular at Great Maytham Hall(from 1897 to 1907) where she really did discover a secret garden, but in 1909 she moved back to the United States, after having become a U.S. citizen in 1905.
After her first son Lionel's death of consumption in 1890, Burnett delved into Spiritualism and apparently found this a great comfort in dealing with her grief (she had previously dabbled in
Theosophy, and some of its concepts are worked into "The Secret Garden", in which a boy who has been an invalid for a long time helps to heal himself through positive thinking and affirmations). During World War I, Burnett put her beliefs about what happens after death into writing with her novella " [http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/459 The White People.] "
Frances Hodgson Burnett lived for the last 17 years of her life in
Plandome, New York. [O'Connell, Pamela Licalzi. [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B07E3D6143CF93BA3575BC0A9629C8B63 "LITERATURE; 'The Secret Garden' Has Deep Island Roots"] , " The New York Times", August 8, 2004. Accessed November 11, 2007. "Mrs. Burnett, the author of "The Secret Garden" and other enduring children's classics, lived on a grand estate in Plandome the last 17 years of her life."] She is buried in Roslyn Cemeterynearby, next to her son Vivian. A life-size effigy of Lionel stands at their feet.
* at the
Internet Movie Database
* [http://www.tickledorange.com/FHB/index.html Frances Hodgson Burnett] Biography, photos, bibliography, e-texts and book covers
* [http://librivox.org/a-little-princess-by-frances-hodgson-burnett/ Free audiobook of "A Little Princess"] at [http://librivox.org/ Librivox]
* [http://librivox.org/sara-crewe-by-frances-hodgson-burnett/ Free audiobook of "Sara Crewe: or, What Happened at Miss Minchin’s Boarding School"] at [http://librivox.org/ Librivox]
* [http://librivox.org/the-secret-garden-by-frances-hodgson-burnett/ Free audiobook of "The Secret Garden"] at [http://librivox.org/ Librivox]
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