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Frances Hodgson Burnett was born in Manchester in 1849. After living in poverty, she emigrated to the US in 1865. She wrote over forty books; the best-known today are The Secret Garden, A Little Princess and Little Lord Fauntleroy. She died in 1924.
May 2014 Guest Editor Daisy Goodwin on A Little Princess... This book about a little girl ,who after the death of her father is forced to work as a maid in the school where she was once a parlour boarder, had a profound effect on my imagination. I was transfixed by the scene where Sara Crewe wakes up to find that her drafty garret has been transformed into a bedroom fit for a princess. I read those chapters every night for about three years. It was a great training for my career in makeover tv.
Little Lord Fauntleroy was the Harry Potter of his time and Frances Hodgson Burnett was as celebrated for creating him as J. K. Rowling is today for Potter. During the 1880s, fashions in the book became popular with velvet Lord Fauntleroy suits being sold, as well as other Fauntleroy merchandise such as velvet collars, playing cards, and chocolates. The Reginald Birch illustrations sparked a romantic style of dress for boys which would endure into the early twentieth century.