'Delightful...A sparky sense of humour combined with lively social commentary make this a joy to read.' -- The Bookseller August 2001
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About the Author
Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett (1849 –1924) was an English playwright and author. She is best known for her children's stories, in particular The Secret Garden, A Little Princess, and Little Lord Fauntleroy. Born Frances Eliza Hodgson, she lived in Cheetham Hill, Manchester. After the death of her father the family was forced to sell their home, and suffered economic hardship. Until she was sixteen she lived in Salford, and when she was sixteen the family emigrated to Knoxville, Tennessee. There Burnett turned to writing to help earn money for the family, publishing stories in magazines by the time she was nineteen. In 1872 she married Swan Burnett. They lived in Paris for two years where their two sons were born, before returning to the United States to live in Washington D.C. There she began to write novels, the first of which That Lass o' Lowries, was published to good reviews. The publication of Little Lord Fauntleroy in 1886 made her a popular writer of children's fiction, although her romantic adult novels written in the 1890s were also popular. She wrote and helped to produce stage versions of Little Lord Fauntleroy and The Little Princess. Burnett enjoyed socializing and lived a lavish lifestyle. Beginning in the 1880s she began to travel to England frequently and bought a home there in the 1890s. Her oldest son, Lionel, died of tuberculosis in 1892, which caused a relapse of the depression she struggled with for much of her life. She divorced Swan Burnett in 1898 and remarried in 1900, although her second marriage only lasted for a year. At the end of her life she settled in Long Island, where she died in 1924.
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Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
'When Miss Fox-Seton descended from the two-penny 'bus as it drew up, she gathered her trim tailor-made skirt about her with neatness and decorum, being well used to getting in and out of two-penny 'buses and to making her way across muddy London streets. A woman whose tailor-made suit must last two or three years soon learns how to protect it from splashes; and how to aid it to retain the the freshness of its folds. During her trudging about this morning in the wet, Emily Fox-Seton had been very careful, and, in fact, was returning to Mortimer Street as unspotted as she had left it. She had been thinking a good deal about her dress - this particular faithful one which she had already worn through a twelve-month. Skirts had made one of their appalling changes, and as she walked down Regent Street and Bond Street she had stopped at the windows of more than one shop bearing the sign 'Ladies' Tailor and Habit Maker', and had looked at the tautly attired, preternaturally slim models, her large honest hazel eyes wearing an anxious expression. She was trying to discover where seams were to be placed, and how gathers were to be hung; or if there were to be gathers at all...'
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