Author: Frances Hodgson Burnett

About Author Frances Hodgson Burnett, a talented American-English novelist and playwright, was a captivating author best known for her remarkable contributions to children's literature. Born as Frances Eliza Hodgson on November 24, 1849, in Cheetham, England, she faced financial struggles after her father's passing in 1852. Seeking a fresh start, her family decided to immigrate to the United States in 1865 and settled near Knoxville, Tennessee. At the young age of 19, Frances began writing stories to support her family financially. Her captivating tales were published in various magazines, showcasing her exceptional talent as a writer. Unfortunately, in 1870, tragedy struck again when her mother passed away. However, Frances found solace and new beginnings when she married Swan Burnett, who later became a medical doctor, in 1872. After their marriage, the Burnetts resided in Paris for two years, during which their two sons were born, before returning to the United States and settling in Washington, D.C. Frances Hodgson Burnett's career as a novelist truly took flight with the publication of her first novel, "That Lass o' Lowrie's," which received rave reviews. However, her most influential works emerged with the publication of "Little Lord Fauntleroy" in 1886, instantly catapulting her to fame as a prominent author of children's fiction. This heartwarming tale captivated readers around the world, solidifying her reputation as a talented storyteller. Burnett's subsequent novel, "A Little Princess," and her enduring masterpiece, "The Secret Garden," further cemented her status as a beloved children's author. Despite her success in the realm of children's literature, Burnett also ventured into writing romantic adult novels during the 1890s, which garnered considerable popularity. She showcased her versatility and creativity by writing stage adaptations for her famous works, including "Little Lord Fauntleroy" and "A Little Princess." Beyond her literary accomplishments, Frances Burnett was known for her vibrant social life and luxurious lifestyle. She developed a deep affinity for England and frequently traveled there, eventually buying a home in the country. It was in England that she wrote her timeless classic, "The Secret Garden." Unfortunately, her personal life was marred by tragedy when her oldest son, Lionel, succumbed to tuberculosis in 1890, leading to a relapse of the depression she had battled throughout her life. Despite these personal setbacks, Frances Hodgson Burnett continued to pursue her passion for writing. She divorced Swan Burnett in 1898, remarried Stephen Townsend in 1900, and then divorced Townsend in 1902. A few years later, she found solace in Nassau County, Long Island, where she settled down. However, her amazing journey came to an end on October 29, 1924, when she passed away. She now rests eternally in Roslyn Cemetery. Frances Hodgson Burnett's contributions to literature are immortalized in Central Park's Conservatory Garden, where a magnificent memorial sculpture of her two beloved characters from "The Secret Garden," Mary and Dickon, stands tall. This beautiful tribute was created by the talented artist Bessie Potter Vonnoh. Through her timeless stories and remarkable imagination, Frances Hodgson Burnett continues to enchant readers of all ages. Her legacy lives on, inspiring countless individuals to explore the wonders of literature and the power of storytelling.