Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett (24 November 1849 - 29 October 1924) was an English-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, England. After her father died in 1852, the family fell on straitened circumstances and in 1865 immigrated 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.
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.
Frances had an active imagination, writing stories she made up in old notebooks. One of her favorite books was Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, and she spent many hours acting out scenes from that book. Frances and her siblings were sent to be educated at The Select Seminary for Young Ladies and Gentlemen, where she was described as "precocious" and "romantic". She had an active social life and enjoyed telling stories to her friends and cousins; in her mother she found a good audience, although her brothers had a tendency to tease her about her stories. Frances continued her education at the Select Seminary until she was aged fifteen.