A young girl, all but a princess in both wealth and the pureness of her heart, is orphaned while at boarding school and yet – even in her darkest hours – never ceases in her kindness to others or her hope in the goodness of life. This is the heroine of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic story A Little Princess, first published in novel form in 1905. Sarah Crewe’s is faced with the worst tragedy that can befall an 11-year-old, yet she rises to every instance of hardship with a gracious sweetness from which readers young and old alike can learn.
‘Bright, beautiful and enchanting … ‘ –New York Times
‘A Little Princess exquisitely re-creates the ephemeral world of childhood, an enchanted kingdom where everything, even make-believe, seems possible …’ –Washington Post
About the Author
Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett was born on November 24, 1849 in Cheetham Hill, Manchester, England. Her father died of a stroke when she was two, causing the family to fall on hard times, eventually settling in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1865, just after the Civil War. Frances began writing for magazines to support the family, but her mother died in 1870, and she married Doctor Swan Burnett in 1873, leaving the U. S. for Paris, France. While in France, they had two children, and then returned to live in Washington, D. C., where she wrote Little Lord Fauntleroy in 1886. During her time there, she visited Boston and became acquainted with Louisa May Alcott and Mary Mapes Dodge, who pushed her in the direction of children s literature. Her husband s medical practice did not do well, and the family relied on Frances writing to stay out of debt. As time progressed however, she began to suffer from depression, although she managed to begin writing stage plays as well as books. In 1890, her oldest son died from tuberculosis and she began an affair with an actor named Stephen Townsend. In 1898, Frances divorced Swan and married Townsend in 1900, living in England. As it turned out, the decade-younger Townsend only wanted her for financial support and they divorced in 1902. She did write A Little Princess and The Secret Garden while there, but returned again to the U. S. in 1907, working as a writer and editor at Children s Magazine. Burnett died on October 29, 1924, at the age of 74, in Plandome, New York.