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Frances Hodgson Burnett – Lioness at Large

Frances Hodgson Burnett

(1849 – 1924)

Frances Hodgson BurnettBiographical Sketch

Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett (Cheetham, Manchester, UK, November 24, 1849 – Plandome Manor, NY, USA, October 29, 1924) was a British-American novelist and playwright. She is best known for the three children’s novels Little Lord Fauntleroy (1886), A Little Princess (1905), and The Secret Garden (1911).

Frances Eliza Hodgson was born in Cheetham, Manchester, England. After her father died in 1853, when Frances was 3 years old, the family fell on straitened circumstances and in 1865 emigrated to the United States, settling in New Market, Tennessee. Frances began her remunerative writing career there at age 19 to help earn money for the family, publishing stories in magazines. In 1870, her mother died. In Knoxville, Tennessee in 1873 she married Swan Burnett, who became a medical doctor. Their first son Lionel was born a year later. The Burnetts lived for two years in Paris, where their second son Vivian was born, before returning to the United States to live in Washington, D.C. Burnett then 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. She wrote and helped to produce stage versions of Little Lord Fauntleroy and A Little Princess.

Beginning in the 1880s, Burnett began to travel to England frequently and in the 1890s bought a home there, where she wrote The Secret Garden. Her elder son, Lionel, died of tuberculosis in 1890, which caused a relapse of the depression she had struggled with for much of her life. She divorced Swan Burnett in 1898, married Stephen Townsend in 1900, and divorced him in 1902. A few years later she settled in Plandome Manor (Nassau County, New York), where she died in 1924 and is buried in Roslyn Cemetery.

In 1936, a memorial sculpture by Bessie Potter Vonnoh was erected in her honor in Central Park’s Conservatory Garden. The statue depicts her two famous Secret Garden characters, Mary and Dickon.

Read more about Frances Hodgson Burnett on Wikipedia.

 

Bibliography

Fiction for Adults
Novels and Novelettes
  • Kathleen’s Love-Story (1870)
    A/K/A Kathleen Mavourneen; Kathleen: A Love Story
  • The Tragedy of a Quiet Life (1871)
  • Lindsay’s Luck (1872)
  • Pretty Polly Pemberton (1874)
  • The Tide on the Moaning Bar (1875)
  • Miss Crespigny’s Absurd Flirtation (1876)
    A/K/A Miss Crespigny
  • That Lass o’ Lowrie’s (1876)
  • Theo: A Sprightly Love Story (1877)
  • The Fortunes of Philippa Fairfax (1877)
    – Dramatized under the title Phyllis.
  • Lindsay’s Luck (1878)
  • A Woman’s Will (1879)
    A/K/A Miss Defarge
  • Haworth’s (1879)
  • Louisiana (1880)
  • A Fair Barbarian (1881)
  • Through One Administration (1883)
  • Vagabondia (1884)
  • The Pretty Sister of José (1889)
    – Dramatized under the same title.
  • The One I Knew the Best of All: A Memory of the Mind of a Child (1893)
    – Fictionalized childhood autobiography.
  • Clorinda / Osmonde duology:
    • A Lady of Quality (1896)
    • His Grace of Osmonde (1897)
  • In Connection With the De Willoughby Claim (1899)
    – Dramatized under the title That Man and I.
  • Emily Fox-Seton (1901)
    A/K/A The Making of a Marchioness
    – Dramatized in 1904 under the title Glenpeffer; originally published in 2 parts:

    • The Making of a Marchioness
    • The Methods of Lady Walderhurst.
  • The Dawn of A To-morrow (1906)
  • The Shuttle (1907)
  • T. Tembarom (1913)
  • The White People (1917)
  • The House of Coombe
    • The Head of the House of Coombe (1922)
    • Robin (1922)
Short Stories
  • Surly Tim and Other Stories (1877)
    • Surly Tim’s Trouble: A Lancashire Story (1872)
      – First story to be acceptedby Scribner’s Monthly, published in June 1872.
    • One Day at Arle (1872)
      – First published in Scribner’s Monthly, September 1872.
    • Mère Giraud’s Little Daughter (1876)
      – First published in Scribner’s Monthly, November 1876.
    • Seth (1877)
      – First published in Lippincott’s Magazine, March 1877.
    • Esmaralda
      – First published in Scribner’s Monthly, May 1877.
    • Le Monsieur De La Petite Dame (1877)
      – First published in Scribner’s Monthly, June 1877.
    • Smethurstses (1877)
      – First published in Scribner’s Monthy, August 1877.
    • Lodusky (1877)
      – First published in Scribner’s Monthly, September 1877.
  • Hearts and Diamonds (1868)
    – Published under the pseudonym “The Second” in Godey’s Lady’s Book, June 1868. Second story Hodgson submitted to a magazine, but her first to be published; with her first submission, Miss Carruthers’ Engagement, published in Godey’s four months later.
  • Miss Carruthers’ Engagement (1868)
    – Published under the pseudonym “The Second” in Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine, October 1868.  First story Hodgson submitted to a magazine, but her second to be published, after the editor requested a second piece (Hearts and Diamonds) to verify the author’s authenticity.
  • Ethel’s Sir Lancelot (1868)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, November 1868.
  • In Spite of Themselves (1871)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, January 1871.
  • Jarl’s Daughter (1871)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, March 1871.
  • Sir Patrick’s Romance (1871)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, July 1871.
  • The New Governess (1872)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, January 1872.
  • The Curate of St. Mary’s (1872)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, February 1872.
  • Tom Halifax, M.D. (1872)
    – Published in Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine, April 1872.
  • Little Polly Lambert (1872)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, April 1872.
  • Miss Vernon’s Choice (1872)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, April 1872.
  • How Scarbrough Married for Money (1872)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, September 1872.
  • After Many Days (1872)
    – Published in Harper’s Magazine, November 1872.
  • Dolores (1873)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, January 1873.
  • One Quiet Episode (1874)
    – Published in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, February 1873.
  • The Woman Who Saved Me (1873)
    – Published in Scribner’s Monthly, March 1873.
  • Toinette (1873)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, March 1873.
  • Her Secret (1873)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, May 1873.
  • Norah Ferguson’s Story (1873)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, July 1873.
  • Felicia (1874)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, January 1874.
  • Tina (1874)
    – Published in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, June 1874.
  • The Fire at Grantley Mills (1874)
    – Published in Scribner’s Monthly, July 1874.
  • The Little Shop at Gowanham (1874)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, July 1874.
  • On the Circuit (1874)
    – Published in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, December 1874,
  • After Thirty Years (1875)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, February 1875.
  • As Good As A Mile (1875)
    -Published in Peterson’s Magazine, April 1875.
  • Nobody But Jane Rossitur (1875)
    – Published in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, May 1875.
  • Aunt Portia’s Diamond (1875)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, October 1875.
  • Miss Jerningham’s Version (1875)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, November 1875.
  • The Men Who Loved Elizabeth (1875)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, December 1875.
  • Wanted – A Young Person (1876)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, January 1876.
  • Lisa’s Little Story (1876)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, February 1876.
  • My Cousin Katherine (1876)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, March 1876.
  • Mackenzie’s Wife (1876)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, April 1876.
  • What Might Have Been Expected (1876)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, May 1876.
  • Merely An Episode (1876)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, June 1876.
  • Bebe (1876)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, July 1876.
  • My Dear Friend Barbara Sharpless (1876)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, August 1876.
  • A Little Simpleton (1877)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, January 1877.
  • Notwithstanding (1877)
    – Published in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, February 1877.
  • Mademoiselle Suzette (1877)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, March 1877.
  • The Mystery of Mr. Jack Pym (1877)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, May 1877.
  • Our Neighbor Opposite (1878)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, January 1878.
  • The Black Lace Mantilla (1878)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, April 1878.
  • The Last Duchesne (1878)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, July 1878.
  • Meg’s Love (1879)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, January 1879.
  • A Story of the Latin Quarter (1879)
    A/K/A Natalie
    – Published in Scribner’s Monthly, May 1879.
  • The Plain Miss Burnie (1880)
    – Published in Frank Leslie’s Popular Monthly, February 1880.
  • “Princess” Bab (1887)
    – Published in Peterson’s Magazine, January 1887.
  • An Angel Unawares (1889)
    – Published in The American Magazine, May 1889.
  • Lisabel Cray’s Punishment (1890)
    – Published in The American Magazine, March 1890.
  • The Punishment of Fenham (1900)
    – Published in Argosy, November 1900
  • In the Closed Room (1904)
    – Serialized in McClure’s Magazine beginning in August 1904, later published as a book.
Children’s & YA Literature
Novels and Novelettes
  • Little Lord Fauntleroy (1886)
    – Dramatized under the title The Real Little Lord Fauntleroy.
  • Two Little Pilgrims’ Progress: A Story of the City Beautiful (1895)
  • A Little Princess (1905)
    – Expansion of the earlier story Sara Crewe; or, What Happened at Miss Minchin’s,  serialized in St. Nicholas Magazine beginning in December 1887.  Dramatized under the title A Little Un-Fairy Princess.
  • Queen Silver-Bell Series
    • Queen Silver-Bell (1906)
    • Racketty-Packetty House (1906)
    • The Cozy Lion (October, 1907)
    • The Spring Cleaning (October, 1908)
  • The Good Woolf (1908)
  • The Secret Garden (1911)
  • The Lost Prince (1915)
Short Stories
  • Editha’s Burglar (1888)
    – Dramatized under the title Nixie.
  • Little Saint Elizabeth and Other Stories (1888)
    • Little Saint Elizabeth
    • The Story of Prince Fairyfoot
    • The Proud Little Grain of Wheat
    • Behind the White Brick
  •  Giovanni and The Other: Children Who Have Made Stories (1892)
    – Short stories based on the real experiences of Mrs. Burnett’s own children and those she met while traveling Europe. Includes:

    • Giovanni and The Other
    • A Pretty Roman Beggar
    • Behind the White Brick
    • Eight Little Princes
    • “Illustrissimo Signor Bébé”
    • One Who Lived Long, Long Ago
    • The Boy Who Became a Socialist
    • The Daughter of the Custodian
    • The Little Faun
    • The Quite True Story of an Old Hawthorn Tree
    • The Tinker’s Tom
    • “What Use Is a Poet?”
  • Piccino and Other Child Stories (1897)
    • Two Days in the Life of Piccino
    • The Captian’s Youngest
      – Originally published in Peterson’s Magazine.
    • Little Betty’s Kitten Tells Her Story
      – Originally published in The Outlook, September 1894.
    • How Fauntleroy Occurred
  • Barty Crusoe and His Man Saturday (1909)
    – Originally published in Children’s Magazine (edited by Burnett’s son Vivian) in 1909; based on a “hair-curling story” that Mrs. Burnett told her sons while curling their hair.
  • The Land of the Blue Flower (1909)
    – Serialized in Little Folks beginning in June 1909, subsequently published in book form.
  • The First Knife in the World (1909)
    – Published in St. Nicholas Magazine, December 1909.
  • The Little Hunchback Zia (1916)
    – Nativity story.
Poetry
  • By the Sea (1881)
    – Tribute to President Garfield; frst published in a newspaper and reprinted in the book The Poets’ Tribute to Garfield (1882).
  • The Statue
    – Published in The Century Magazine, October 1882.
  • A Woman’s Reason
    – Published in The Century Magazine, January 1883.
  • Yesterday and To-Day
    – Published in The Century Magazine, June 1883.
  • A Shadow
    – Published in The Century Magazine, February 1884.
  • Great Love and I
    – Published in The Century Magazine, August 1886.
  • If
    – Published in The Century Magazine, May 1887.
  • Point d’Alencon
    – Published in The Century Magazine, June 1887.
  • From Leaf to Leaf
    – Published in Harper’s Magazine, November 1918.
  • What the Pug Knew
    – Published in Harpers’s Magazine, March 1919.
Plays
  • Phyllis
    – Burnett’s dramatization of her 1877 novel The Fortunes of Philippa Fairfax.
  • Esmeralda – A Comedy Drama in Four Acts (1881)
    – Coauthored with William H. Gillette; not to be confused with her unrelated short story of the same name. Sometimes produced under the title Young Folks’ Ways, likely to avoid confusion with the character named Esmeralda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
  • The Real Little Lord Fauntleroy (1888)
    – Burnett’s dramatization of Little Lord Fauntleroy.
  • Nixie (1890)
    – Burnett’s dramatization of her short story Editha’s Burglar.
  • The Pretty Sister of José (1903)
    – Burnett’s dramatization of her novelette of the same title.
  • Glenpeffer (1904)
    – Burnett’s dramatization of her novel The Making of a Marchionesse.
  • Judy O’Hara (1904)
    – Coauthored with Fredrick A. Stanley.
  • A Little Un-Fairy Princess
    – Burnett’s dramatization of A Little Princess (1905).
  • That Man and I
    – Burnett’s dramatization of her 1899 novel In Connection With the De Willoughby Claim.
Short Nonfiction
The Romantick Lady Series
  • The Christmas in the Fog
    – Part of Burnett’s “The Romantick Lady” series, Good Housekeeping, December 1914.
  • The Woman in the Other Stateroom
    – Part of Burnett’s “The Romantick Lady” series, Good Housekeeping, April 1915.
  • The Attic in the House on Long Island
    – Part of Burnett’s “The Romantick Lady” series, Good Housekeeping, May 1916.
Other Articles and Short Nonfiction
  • The Drury Lane Boys’ Club
    – Published in Scribner’s Monthly, June 1892.
  • A City of Groves and Bowers
    – Published in St. Nicholas Magazine in June 1893.
  • When He Decides (1894)
    – Chapter Two of the book When He Is Twenty: Five Perplexing Phases of the Boy Question Considered.
  • The Story of a Beautiful Thing
    – Published in Scribner’s Monthly, June 1894.
  • The Man Who Most Influenced Me
    – Published in The Ladies’ Home Journal, December 1894.
  • How I Served My Apprenticeship
    – Published in The Lady’s Realm in November 1896.
  • The Enchanted Coach
    – Published in The Ladies’ Home Journal, October 1911.
  • My Robin (1912)
  • Introduction to The Writings of Kate Douglas Wiggin (1912)
  • My Toy Cupboard
    – Published in The Ladies’ Home Journal, April 1915.
  • The Passing of the Kings
    – Published in Good Housekeeping, March 1919
  • The House in the Dismal Swamp
    – Published in Good Housekeeping, March 1920.
  • The Magic in Children’s Books
    – Published in The New York Times, November 1920.
  • In the Garden (1925)
    – Short book, published posthumously; written as Burnett reflected on the end of her life.
Online editions of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s Works

 

A Selection of Quotes

A Little Princess

“‘Whatever comes,’ she said, ‘cannot alter one thing. If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it.'”

“I am a princess. All girls are. Even if they live in tiny old attics. Even if they dress in rags, even if they aren’t pretty, or smart, or young. They’re still princesses.”

“Perhaps to be able to learn things quickly isn’t everything. To be kind is worth a great deal to other people…Lots of clever people have done harm and have been wicked.”

“How it is that animals understand things I do not know, but it is certain that they do understand. Perhaps there is a language which is not made of words and everything in the world understands it. Perhaps there is a soul hidden in everything and it can always speak, without even making a sound, to another soul.”

“There’s nothing so strong as rage, except what makes you hold it in — that’s stronger.”

“Never did she find anything so difficult as to keep herself from losing her temper when she was suddenly disturbed while absorbed in a book. People who are fond of books know the feeling of irritation which sweeps over them at such a moment. The temptation to be unreasonable and snappish is one not easy to manage.”

“She did not care very much for other little girls, but if she had plenty of books she could console herself.”

“‘I dare say it is rather hard to be a rat,’ she mused. ‘Nobody likes you. People jump and run away and scream out: ‘Oh, a horrid rat!’ I shouldn’t like people to scream and jump and say: ‘Oh, a horrid Sara!’ the moment they saw me, and set traps for me, and pretend they were dinner. It’s so different to be a sparrow. But nobody asked this rat if he wanted to be a rat when he was made. Nobody said: ‘Wouldn’t you rather be a sparrow?'”

“If she had cried and sobbed and seemed frightened, Miss Minchin might almost have had more patience with her. She was a woman who liked to domineer and feel her power, and as she looked at Sara’s pale little steadfast face and heard her proud little voice, she felt quite as if her mind was being set at naught.”

“Give her books, and she would devour them and end by knowing them by heart.”

“The very fact that she never made an impudent answer seemed to Miss Minchin a kind of impudence in itself.”

The Secret Garden

“At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done–then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago.”

“Two things cannot be in one place. Where you tend a rose my lad, a thistle cannot grow.”

“I am sure there is Magic in everything, only we have not sense enough to get hold of it and make it do things for us.”

Little Saint Elizabeth and Other Stories: Behind the White Brick

“Folks who make such a fuss about their rights turn them into wrongs sometimes.”

His Grace of Osmonde

“‘Tis a barbaric fancy,’ said Roxholm thoughtfully as he turned the stem of his glass, keeping his eyes fixed on it as though solving a problem for himself. ‘A barbaric fancy that a woman needs a master. She who is strong enough is her own conqueror – as a man should be master of himself.'”

Find more quotes by Frances Hodgson Burnett on Wikiquote and Goodreads.

 

Links