“Once you start looking for the happy things, you don’t think about the bad ones as much.” That’s the joyful way Pollyanna sees the world: no matter what happens, she plays her “Just Be Glad” game and finds the sunny side of any situation. But when she’s orphaned and forced to live with her rigid Aunt Polly, will high-spirited Pollyanna succeed in melting her Aunt’s cold heart?
She was born as Eleanor Emily Hodgman in Littleton, New Hampshire on December 19, 1868, the daughter of Llewella French (née Woolson) and Francis Fletcher Hodgman. She was trained as a singer, attending New England Conservatory for several years. In 1892, she married John Lyman Porter and relocated to Massachusetts, after which she began writing and publishing her short stories and later novels. She died in Cambridge, Massachusetts on May 21, 1920 and was buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery.
Porter mainly wrote children's literature, adventure stories and romance fiction. Her most famous novel is Pollyanna (1913), later followed by a sequel, Pollyanna Grows Up (1915). Her adult novels include The Turn of the Tide (1908), The Road to Understanding (1917), Oh Money! Money! (1918), Dawn (1919), Keith's Dark Tower (1919), Mary Marie (1920), and Sister Sue (1921); her short story collections include Across the Years (c. 1923), Money, Love and Kate (1923), Little Pardner (1926).
Porter achieved considerable commercial success: during 1913, Pollyanna ranked eighth among bestselling novels in the United States, second during 1914, and fourth during 1915 (it had forty-seven printings between 1915 and 1920); during 1916, Just David ranked third; during 1917, The Road to Understanding ranked fourth; during 1918, Oh Money! Money! ranked fifth.