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Frances Hodgson Burnett image

Frances Hodgson Burnett

English born novelist Frances Hodgson Burnett was best known for her children's stories, particularly Little Lord Fauntleroy, The Secret Garden, and A Little Princess. Many of her works have been and continue to be dramatized in film and video.

Frances Eliza Hodgson was born in Manchester, England, on November 24, 1849. When she was four, her father died, leaving her mother with five children and little money. They moved to America when she was sixteen and settled on a farm in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The family financial situation did not improve, and Frances felt that she had the ability to earn money from writing, so as a teenager, she sent her stories to an editor. She began with short stories based on her childhood days in Manchester. After "Surly Tim's Trouble" premiered in Scribner's Magazine in 1872, publishers pursued Frances; one successful story led to another.

Frances married Dr. Swan M. Burnett in 1873, and they had two sons. They traveled extensively throughout Europe and subsequently took up residence in Washington, D.C. Later, reporters criticized her lifestyle and turned public sentiment against her, despite her attempts to stay out of the public eye. Frances died October 29, 1924, at the age of seventy-four.

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