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Frances Hodgson Burnett

Frances Hodgson Burnett, author of The Making of a Marchioness and The Shuttle

Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924) grew up in Manchester until, in 1865, her widowed mother was forced to take her children to Tennessee, the home of Frances’s uncle. She married Swan Burnett in 1873, was the family breadwinner (her first short story was published in the late 1860s) and had two sons. After her divorce she was briefly married to her lover: her personal life was unhappy, but she had numerous friends on both sides of the Atlantic. In 1877 the Boston Transcript compared her first novel to the best of George Eliot and in 1886 Little Lord Fauntleroy was a huge popular success; from then on Frances Hodgson Burnett wrote for both children and adults. The Secret Garden (1911) is still a bestseller and The Making of a Marchioness (1901) has been an out-of-print favourite: Linda in The Pursuit of Love puts it in the Red bookshop instead of Karl Marx, and Grace in The Blessing was absorbed by it on the day her mother died. The Shuttle was first published in 1907.

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