Frances Hodgson Burnett: Biography

Frances Hodgson Burnett

24 nov 1849

Frances Hodgson Burnett is the legendary author of classic children’s novels such as ‘Little Lord Fauntleroy’, ‘A Little Princess’ and ‘The Secret Garden’. No one would believe that Frances once lived in a log cabin since in her later part of life she had homes in both England and America.

Frances Hodgson Burnett faced lot of difficulties in her childhood. Born in Manchester, England on Nov 24, 1849 to couple Edwin Hodgson and Eliza Bond, Frances was the eldest daughter among two boys and three girls. She started experiencing financial difficulties when she lost her father at the age of 3. She was so interested in writing that she wrote little stories on the sheets of old notebooks as the family could not buy any writing materials.

In 1865, Frances Hodgson Burnett moved to Tennessee, U.S along with her family. When women of that period never had a career for themselves, Frances started her career as a writer submitting stories to women magazines. In 1868, one of her stories got published in Godey’s Lady’s Book and in few years’ time Frances’ work was a regular print in Godey’s Peterson’s Ladies Magazine, Scribner’s monthly and Harpers.

On the death of her mother in 1870, Frances took full responsibility of her family and also managed her career. Her first novel, That Lass O’Lowrie’s got published in 1877. She had two sons with Dr. Swan Burnett whom she married in 1873. She divorced Dr. Swan and married Stephen Townshend. Her eldest son died of influenza. The famous book of Frances, ‘Little Lord Fauntleroy’ was written keeping her younger son Vivian as the model, who in turn wrote a biography of his mother named ‘The Romantic Lady’ after her demise.

Frances’ two most important works, ‘A Little Princess’ and ‘The Secret Garden’ happened when she was in Long Island, New York. Apart from children’s novels, she has also written romantic stories such as ‘The Making of a Marchioness’ for adults.

Frances Hodgson who has written more than 40 novels and has got huge success as a novelist, playwright and children’s author , died on 29 Oct, 1924 in her Long Island, New York home.