The remarkable woman who wrote those perennial childhood classics, "The Secret Garden" and "A Little Princess", lived an unexpected and varied life. Hugely successful in her own time (1849 - 1924) for her adult novels and plays, Frances Hodgson Burnett would be astounded to be remembered for a handful of books for children. From modest beginnings in mid-Victorian Manchester to adulthood in America, where she arrived in post-Civil War Tennessee at the age of fifteen, with her widowed mother, two sisters and two brothers, Burnett was a woman of contrasts and paradoxes. She made, and spent, a fortune; was generous and profligate, yet anxious about money and obsessively hardworking; flighty, yet hard-headed; depressive; amusing and clever (though not well educated). She published fifty-two books and wrote and produced thirteen plays; she made an early marriage to a Southern doctor and had notorious flirtations and a scandalous affair before making a disastrous second marriage to an English doctor turned actor.
She understood the intensity and loneliness of the thoughtful child, but was herself a largely absent mother to two adored sons and she hankered after a kind of grand Englishness - which she finally achieved as lady of the manor at Maytham Hall in Kent, with its own walled garden - but continued to relish the American independence of spirit. She belonged everywhere and nowhere, constantly restless and inventive, a woman ahead of her time, who reinvented for herself and generations to come the magic and mystery of the childhood she never really had.
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Number of pages: 384
Weight: 538 g
Dimensions: 234 x 153 x 29 mm