Frances Hodgson Burnett | First Editions

1849 - 1924

Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett (24 November 1849 – 29 October 1924) was an English-American novelist and playwright. She was born in Cheetham, England, but immigrated to the United States after her father died in 1852. They settled near Knoxville, Tennessee, where Hodgson began writing to help earn money for the family. After the death of her mother, the young writer married and relocated to Paris, before returning to the United States to live in Washington, D.C. At this time, Burnett began to write novels, the first of which (That Lass o' Lowrie's), was published to good reviews. Little Lord Fauntleroy was published in 1886 and made her a popular writer of children's fiction, although her romantic adult novels written in the 1890s were also popular.

Burnett enjoyed socialising, and lived a lavish lifestyle. Beginning in the 1880s, she began to travel to England frequently. In the 1890s, she bought a home there, where she wrote The Secret Garden. Tragedy struck toward the end of the century, as her oldest son, Lionel, died of tuberculosis in 1890. This caused a relapse of the depression Burnett had struggled with for much of her life. Today, she is best known for the three children's novels Little Lord Fauntleroy (published in 1885–1886), A Little Princess (1905), and The Secret Garden (1911).

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