Little Saint Elizabeth (and other stories) – Frances Hodgson-Burnett
This volume contains four stories, different in kind, but alike in the grace and spirit of their handling. The pretty tale from which the book borrows its name has for heroine a little French girl brought up in an old chateau in Normandy by an aunt who is recluse and denote. Little Saint Elizabeth is educated very much as her great namesake may have been, in a round of religious observances varied by acts of charity,and is trained to meditate much on the state of her soul and the woes of other people. Her head is filled with legends of saints and martyrs, her heart with zeal to emulate their good examples, and also with deep and tender pity, a real hunger after helpfulness for all human suffering. A child of this type transplanted suddenly while still in childhood to the realistic atmosphere of prosperous New York, must inevitably have much to suffer. She is puzzled ; she is lonely; she has no one to direct her conscience. The quaint little figure blindly trying to guess the riddle of duty under these unfamiliar conditions is pathetic, and Mrs. Burnett touches it in with delicate strokes. We are all glad when at last she finds a friend, and when Uncle Bertrand learns to recognize and allow for the spiritual need which is the mainspring of her nature.
Little Saint Elizabeth (and other stories).
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Biography of Frances Hodgson-Burnett (from Wikipedia):
Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett (24 November 1849 – 29 October 1924) was a British-American novelist and playwright. She is best known for the three children’s novels Little Lord Fauntleroy (published in 1885–1886), A Little Princess (1905), and The Secret Garden (1911).
Frances Eliza Hodgson was born in Cheetham, Manchester, England. After her father died in 1852, the family fell on straitened circumstances and in 1865 emigrated to the United States, settling near Knoxville, Tennessee. There Frances began writing to help earn money for the family, publishing stories in magazines from the age of 19. In 1870, her mother died, and in 1872 Frances married Swan Burnett, who became a medical doctor. The Burnetts lived for two years in Paris, where their two sons were born, before returning to the United States to live in Washington, D.C. Burnett then began to write novels, the first of which (That Lass o’ Lowrie’s), was published to good reviews. Little Lord Fauntleroy was published in 1886 and 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 A Little Princess.
Burnett enjoyed socializing and lived a lavish lifestyle. Beginning in the 1880s, she began to travel to England frequently and in the 1890s bought a home there, where she wrote The Secret Garden. Her oldest son, Lionel, died of tuberculosis in 1890, which caused a relapse of the depression she had struggled with for much of her life. She divorced Swan Burnett in 1898, married Stephen Townsend in 1900, and divorced him in 1902. A few years later she settled in Nassau County, Long Island, where she died in 1924 and is buried in Roslyn Cemetery.
In 1936 a memorial sculpture by Bessie Potter Vonnoh was erected in her honour in Central Park’s Conservatory Garden. The statue depicts her two famous Secret Garden characters, Mary and Dickon.
(The text of the last section was taken from a Wikipedia entry and is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)
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