Burnett, Frances Hodgson

Burnett, Frances Hodgson

▪ American author
née  Frances Eliza Hodgson  
born Nov. 24, 1849, Manchester, Eng.
died Oct. 29, 1924, Plandome, N.Y., U.S.

      American playwright and author who wrote the popular novel Little Lord Fauntleroy.

      Frances Hodgson grew up in increasingly straitened circumstances after the death of her father in 1854. In 1865 the family immigrated to the United States and settled in New Market, near Knoxville, Tennessee, where the promise of support from a maternal uncle failed to materialize. In 1868 Hodgson managed to place a story with Godey's Lady's Book. Within a few years she was being published regularly in Godey's, Peterson's Ladies' Magazine, Scribner's Monthly, and Harper's. In 1873, after a year's visit to England, she married Dr. Swan Moses Burnett of New Market (divorced 1898).

      Burnett's first novel, That Lass o' Lowrie's, which had been serialized in Scribner's, was published in 1877. Like her short stories, the book combined a remarkable gift for realistic detail in portraying scenes of working-class life—unusual in that day—with a plot consisting of the most romantic and improbable of turns. After moving with her husband to Washington, D.C., Burnett wrote the novels Haworth's (1879), Louisiana (1880), A Fair Barbarian (1881), and Through One Administration (1883), as well as a play, Esmeralda (1881), written with actor-playwright William Gillette.

      In 1886 Burnett's most famous and successful book appeared. First serialized in St. Nicholas magazine, Little Lord Fauntleroy was intended as a children's book, but it had its greatest appeal to mothers. It established the main character's long curls (based on her son Vivian's) and velvet suit with lace collar (based on Oscar Wilde's attire) as a mother's model for small boys (childhood), who generally hated it. The book sold more than half a million copies, and Burnett's income was increased by her dramatized version, which quickly became a repertory standard on the order of Uncle Tom's Cabin. 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 in 1911.

      Her later books include Sara Crewe (1888), dramatized as The Little Princess (1905), and The Secret Garden (1909), both of which were also written for children. The Lady of Quality (1896) has been considered the best of her other plays. These, like most of her 40-odd novels, stress sentimental, romantic themes. In 1893 she published a memoir of her youth, The One I Knew Best of All. From the mid-1890s she lived mainly in England, but in 1909 she built a house in Plandome, Long Island, New York, where she died in 1924. Her son Vivian Burnett, the model for Little Lord Fauntleroy, wrote a biography of her in 1927 entitled The Romantick Lady.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Burnett, Frances Hodgson — (1849 1924)    The English born author of plays and children s books came to the United States with her parents in 1865. She remains best known for three of 50 or so books: Little Lord Fauntleroy (1886), A Little Princess (1905), and The Secret… …   The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater

  • BURNETT, FRANCES HODGSON —    novelist, born in Manchester, resident for a time in America; wrote That Lass o Lowrie s, and other stories of Lancashire manufacturing life, characterised by shrewd observation, pathos, and descriptive power; b. 1849 …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Frances Hodgson Burnett — Frances Burnett Frances Hodgson Burnett (* 24. November 1849 in Manchester, England; † 29. Oktober 1924 in Plandome, New York; gebürtig Frances Eliza Hodgson) war eine britische Schriftstellerin …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Frances Hodgson Burnett — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Frances Hodgson Burnett Frances Hodgson Burnett. (Manchester, Inglaterra, Reino Unido, 24 de noviembre de 1849 – Nueva York, Estados Unidos, 29 de octubre de 1924) fue una escritor …   Wikipedia Español

  • Frances Hodgson Burnett — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Burnett. Frances Hodgson Burnett Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett, de son nom de jeune fille Frances Eliza Hodgson, née le 24 novem …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Frances Hodgson Burnett — noun United States writer (born in England) remembered for her novels for children (1849 1924) • Syn: ↑Burnett, ↑Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett • Instance Hypernyms: ↑writer, ↑author * * * Frances Hodgson Burnett [ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Frances Hodgson Burnett — Infobox Writer name =Frances Hodgson Burnett |thumb caption = birthdate = birth date|1849|11|24|df=y birthplace = Cheetham Hill, Manchester1 deathdate = death date and age|1924|10|29|1849|11|24|df=y deathplace = Plandome, New York City occupation …   Wikipedia

  • Frances Hodgson Burnett — ➡ Burnett * * * …   Universalium

  • Burnett,Frances Eliza Hodgson — Bur·nett (bûr nĕtʹ, bûrʹnĭt), Frances Eliza Hodgson. 1849 1924. British born American writer famous for her popular children s books, especially Little Lord Fauntleroy (1886), whose priggish title character dressed in black velvet with ruffled… …   Universalium

  • Burnett, Frances (Eliza) Hodgson — born Nov. 24, 1849, Manchester, Eng. died Oct. 29, 1924, Plandome, N.Y., U.S. British U.S. playwright and author. She is best remembered for the popular children s novel Little Lord Fauntleroy (1886), about an American boy who inherits an English …   Universalium