Frances Hodgson Burnett as a Young Woman


Lifetime: 1849 - 1924 Passed: ≈ 99 years ago


Novelist, Playwright


England, United States

Frances Hodgson Burnett

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.

With the income from her writing, she returned to England for an extended visit in 1872, and then went to Paris where, having agreed to marry Swan, she ordered an haute couture wedding dress to be made and shipped to Tennessee. Shortly afterward she returned home and attempted to postpone the wedding until the dress arrived, but Swan insisted they marry as soon as possible, and they were married in September 1873. Writing about the dress disappointment to a Manchester friend, she said of her new husband: "Men are so shallow ... he does not know the vital importance of the difference between white satin and tulle, and cream-colored brocade". Within the year she gave birth to her first child, Lionel, in September 1874. Also during that year she began work on her first full-length novel, That Lass o' Lowrie's, set in Lancashire.

Burnett lived for the last 17 years of her life in Plandome Manor, where she died on 29 October 1924, aged 74.

Books by Frances Hodgson Burnett

A Little Princess Cover image

A Little Princess

Fiction Humour Fairy Tale
Widow Children's novel School Birthday

The novel tells of the troubles of a wealthy young girl, Sara Crewe, who is sent to an oppressive London boarding school during her father’s campaign in India. Thanks to Capt. Crewe’s money, Sara is treated as a little princess until, one day, word c...

The Secret Garden Cover image

The Secret Garden

Fiction Novel
Children's novel Children's Literature

One of the most delightful and enduring classics of children's literature, The Secret Garden by Victorian author Frances Hodgson Burnett has remained a firm favorite with children the world over ever since it made its first appearance. Initially publ...

Little Lord Fauntleroy Cover image

Little Lord Fauntleroy

Fiction Novel
Friendship Trust Unselfishness

Little Lord Fauntleroy is a novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It was published as a serial in St. Nicholas Magazine from November 1885 to October 1886, then as a book by Scribner's (the publisher of St. Nicholas) in 1886. The illustrations by Reginal...

Sara Crewe: or, What Happened at Miss Minchin’s Boarding School Cover image

Sara Crewe: or, What Happened at Miss Minchin’s Boarding School


The story told in Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic novel, A Little Princess, was first written as a serialized novella, Sara Crewe, or What Happened at Miss Minchin’s, and published in St. Nicholas Magazine, in 1888. It tells the story of Sara Crewe...

The Dawn of a Tomorrow Cover image

The Dawn of a Tomorrow

Fiction Religion
Suicide Life

A wealthy London business man takes a room in a poor part of the city. He is depressed and has decided to take his life by going the next day to purchase a hand gun he had seen in a pawnshop window. The morning comes with one of those 'memorable fogs...

In the Closed Room Cover image

In the Closed Room

Fiction Fairy Tale
Short Story Children's Literature

This is a short story about a shy, quiet little girl living in a big city. When her parents are offered the opportunity to take care of a house in the suburbs for the summer she meets another little girl in the house and they become playmates.

The Shuttle Cover image

The Shuttle

Fiction Novel
Family Marriage

The Shuttle is a 1907 novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. One of Burnett's longer and more complicated books for adults, it deals with themes of intermarriages between wealthy American heiresses and impoverished British nobles.

The Lost Prince  Cover image

The Lost Prince

Romance Fairy Tale
Military Children Romance Education Childhood Ruritanian Leader Imagination Dictatorship

This book, a Ruritanian romance for children, is about Marco Loristan, his father, and his friend, a street urchin called "The Rat". Marco's father, Stefan, is a Samavian patriot working to overthrow the cruel dictatorship in the kingdom of Samavia....

Emily Fox-Seton  Cover image

Emily Fox-Seton

Marriage Realism Courtship Accident General Fiction

This novel is divided into 2 parts. The first, "The Making Of A Marchioness" tells about the odd courtship of Emily and lord Walderhurst. The second part, "The Methods of Lady Walderhurst", most of the book, tells what happens after… This adult fairy...

A Lady of Quality  Cover image

A Lady of Quality

Women's Rights Romance Historical Fiction Success Life America Discovery United States

Set in late 1600's England, the story follows the life of a woman living an unconventional life. The loves of her life and all of its ups and downs are included.

Haworth's Cover image


Adventure Novel
Revolution Poverty Action Money Friendship Accident Fun

The story of an inventor's son, who tries to prevent him and a couple other characters from being taken into poverty by the man of the house who is drinking away the money, while trying to inherit their grandmother's money.

T. Tembarom Cover image

T. Tembarom

Adventure Novel
New York Action Ancient Life Fun

The story of a Boy living in New York as a street waif, who sells newspapers eventually finds himself to be the heir of an ancient manor. The kids at school never understood what the "T" was for in his name, and he didn't tell them. Does that have so...

Kleine Lord Cover image

Kleine Lord

Cedric Errol, ein kleiner Junge aus New York, wird von seinem kaltherzigen englischen Großvater, dem Earl of Dorincourt, trotz der standeswidrigen Ehe seines verstorbenen Vaters, als einziger Nachfolger für den Grafentitel bei sich aufgenommen und au...

Theo Cover image


It's described as "A SPRIGHTLY LOVE STORY" and it is written by F. H. Burnett, "one of the most charming among American writers!" (Summary by Project Gutenberg and Elli)

Little Saint Elizabeth and Other Stories Cover image

Little Saint Elizabeth and Other Stories

She had not been brought up in America at all. She had been born in France, in a beautiful château, and she had been born heiress to a great fortune, but, nevertheless, just now she felt as if she was very poor, indeed. And yet her home was in one of...

Fair Barbarian Cover image

Fair Barbarian

The setting is a small English village in the 19th century. When her niece shows up on her doorstep unexpectedly, a quiet spinster finds her life turned upside down. (Summary by Linda Andrus)

Robin Cover image


Starting with a summary of the 1922 novel The Head of the House of Coombe, which followed the relationships between a group of pre-WWI English nobles and commoners, this sequel, called Robin, completes the story of Robin, Lord Coombe, Donal and Feath...

His Grace of Osmonde Cover image

His Grace of Osmonde

His Grace of Osmonde, being the portions of that nobleman's life omitted in the relation of his Lady's story presented to the world of fashion under the title of 'A Lady of Quality'(Summary by Frances Hodgson Burnett)

That Lass o' Lowrie's Cover image

That Lass o' Lowrie's

Frances Hodgson Burnett was born and grew up in Manchester, England, and emigrated to the United States with her family at the age of 16. For her first novels, written in Knoxville, Tennessee and published in New York, she drew upon her knowledge of...

Pretty Sister Of José Cover image

Pretty Sister Of José

Pepita would rather become a witch than a wife. She's seen too many women, including her mother, wither away at their husband's hands. Popular and respected, our gentle, but fiercely independent heroine immediately grows cruel and cold to any suitor...

Miss Crespigny Cover image

Miss Crespigny

This is a less known, but not less beautiful, novel by the author of The Secret Garden, A Little Princess, The Lost Prince, Little Lord Fauntleroy, The Shuttle, and many more. There is something different about miss Lysbeth Crespigny. Raised by three...

Head of the House of Coombe Cover image

Head of the House of Coombe

While renowned for her beloved children's literature, Frances Hodgson Burnett's talent extended to historical novels. Originally serialized in 1920 in Scribner's Monthly, 'The Head of the House of Coombe' was met with immense popularity, leading to i...

White People Cover image

White People

A young girl living in remote Scotland discovers she has a unique gift for seeing what others cannot. This ultimately hopeful and positive story reflects the author's interest, in the later years of her life, in spiritualism and Theosophy which had b...