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Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett (Frances Burnett)

Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett

Author. Born Francis Eliza Hodgson at Cheetham Hill, Manchester, England. Her father died in 1853, leaving a widow and five children. Mrs. Hodgeson tried to continue running her husband’s wholesale firm but ultimately failed in part due to the effects of the American Civil War. With the promise of support from a maternal uncle, the family emigrated to Knoxville, Tennessee in 1864. The family found itself in a position no better than what they had faced in Britain. In 1868 in an effort to help out, Frances had her first short stories ‘Hearts and Diamonds’ and ‘Miss Caruther’s Engagement’ published in Godey’s Lady’s Book. Soon after, she was being published regularly in Godey’s, Scribner’s Monthly, Peterson’s Ladies’ Magazine and Harper’s Bazaar. She began to write several stories each month for ten dollars per story and supported her family with her writing. She married Dr. L. M. Burnett in 1873, her son Lionel was born in 1874 and her son Vivian was born while visiting Paris in 1875. She made her reputation as a novelist with ‘That Lass o’ Lowrie’s’ in 1877. Her first novel for children, ‘Little Lord Fauntleroy’ was published in 1885. The book sold more than half a million copies. In 1888 she won a lawsuit in England over the dramatic rights to ‘Little Lord Fauntleroy’, establishing a precedent that was incorporated into British copyright law. She followed her success with ‘The Secret Garden.’ In 1890, her son Lionel died of consumption and she was grief stricken. Burnett’s grief was given vent in the novella, ‘The White People.’ She would not write another book for children until ‘A Little Princess’ in 1909 which was in fact simply a rewrite of her novel, ‘Sara Crewe’ which had first been published twenty years earlier. Her last public appearance was the screening of the film ‘Little Lord Fauntleroy’ in 1921. Burnett died in Plandome, New York and was buried in Roslyn Cemetery next to her son Vivian. A life-size effigy of Lionel stands at their feet. (bio by: Iola)  Family links:  Parents:  Eliza Boond Hodgson (1810 – 1870)  Spouse:  Swan Moses Burnett (1847 – 1906)*  Children:  Lionel Burnett (1874 – 1890)*  Vivian Burnett (1876 – 1937)* *Calculated relationship


  • November, 24, 1849


  • October, 10, 1924


  • Roslyn Cemetery
  • USA

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