Little Lord Fauntleroy

“A book in which the main character is a boy who wears velvet suits, long blond curls, and call his mother ‘Dearest’? Right! That’s going to be on my list of things to read. Yet Little Lord Fauntleroy, sausage curls and all, was the Harry Potter of his time and Frances Hodgson Burnett was as celebrated for creating him as J.K. Rowlng is for Potter. Go figure.

“Little Lord Fauntleroy first appeared as stories in St. Nicholas magazine and readers waited eagerly for each installment. When the book was published, it was an instant best-seller, making Burnett more than $100,000. It later became a play that made even more money than the book. And, like Harry Potter, there was merchandising …” ~ Polly Horvath’s foreword to Little Lord Fauntleroy (Aladdin Classics), 2004.

Frances Hodgson Burnett (Frances Eliza Hodgson), was born in Manchester, England, on November 24, 1849. Upon the death of her father when she was four, her family fell into deep poverty and eventually migrated to Knoxville, Tennessee in 1865 when Frances was 16. To help contribute to the family’s finances, she began writing short pieces for publication.

She became quite successful and published a number of novels, several of which are still popular to this day. She is best remembered for ‘“The Secret Garden”, “A Little Princess” and “Little Lord Fauntleroy.”

Frances lived to see several of her novels made into silent films. She died in 1924, the same year that actor Freddie Bartholomew was born. Freddie starred in the first ‘talkie’ version of Little Lord Fauntleroy (1936).

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