Frances Hodgson Burnett

Burnett in 1888 <!-- 2015-09-29, date not found at File page --> Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett (24 November 1849 – 29 October 1924) was a British novelist and playwright. 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).

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 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. Provided by Wikipedia
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