Poor Sara Crewe. Once upon a time her beloved father pampered and adored her. But ever since he died, leaving her alone and penniless, she's been caught in the cruel clutches of Miss Minchin, the headmistress at the Select Seminary for Young Ladies, where Sara once studied. But no matter how terrible things get, Sara always has her imagination and goodness of heart to carry her through. This timeless tale of a poor orphan has won children's hearts for a century--and continues to be a favorite.
Frances Eliza Hodgson, born in Manchester, England on November 24 1849, was the eldest daughter in a family of two boys and three girls. After her father's death when she was three years old, the Hodgsdons experienced severe financial difficulties. As a young girl, she would scrawl little stories on sheets of old notebooks, as she was unable to afford proper writing materials. In 1865 the family moved to Tennessee where they lived in a log cabin and the teenage Frances set up a little school. She began submitting stories to women's magazines and in a time when most women did not have careers, Frances Eliza Hodgsdon was a literary success. In 1873 she married Dr. Swan Burnett and they had two sons -- Lionel, born 1874, and Vivian, born 1876 -- but the marriage was not a happy one. Her younger son, Vivian, clamoured for something for little boys to read, so Frances wrote "Little Lord Fauntleroy" and modeled the main character after him. In 1890 tragedy struck when her eldest son, Lionel, died of influenza. Frances and Swan separated and finally divorced in 1898, and she went on to remarry Stephen Townshend. Frances moved to Long Island, New York in 1901 and there began to write her two most famous stories -- "A Little Princess" and "The Secret Garden", inspired by her poor childhood and her love for gardening. She began rather eccentric in her old age, but delighted in her grandchildren. Frances Hodgson Burnett died on 29 October 1924.