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Francis Hodgson Burnett: The Unexpected Life of the Author of The Secret Garden First Edition Edition

4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0813533827
ISBN-10: 0813533821
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina is the author of Carrington, a biography of Dora Carrington, and Black London: Life before Emancipation. She is a professor of English at Barnard College, Columbia University, and an honorary fellow at the University of Exeter.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press; First Edition edition (April 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813533821
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813533827
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,196,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Frances Hodgson Burnett was a celebrity and author of many runaway best-sellers from the 1870s to the 1920s and beyond. Now mostly remembered for her children's books, she had great fame for her romances and plays as well. This English-born author moved to the US as a child and became a true-life American rags-to-riches story. It is extremely interesting to learn how she was carried away by the resulting fame and fortune and what choices she made.

I have always loved Frances Hodgson Burnett's books and am delighted that such a detailed biography is now available. I have read the previous accounts of her life but this book is especially well-written and contains plenty of new material. Highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wish I had downloaded a sample. I suggest you do that before paying such a high price for this. I cannot read this book. First the font is horrid and can't even be changed to something readable on the kindle. I read many books and never came up against this. I really love this author and wanted to know why she was so feminist and how she came about her eastern religious views. Which brings me to the second point. This book seems like a rambling mess. I tried to start at several chapters to see if it would get better somewhere. Between the difficult to read text and the writing I just couldn't read this more than ten minutes. Perhaps it is good at some point or for some people, but I just couldn't read it. I feel bad spending this much for a unreadable book. Try the download before buying. Maybe you will think it is great like the other reviewers. Maybe it is just me. Don't let me stop you from loving this, but try it for free to see if it is for you.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The title of this biography is perfect "the unexpected life" - because it definitely wasn't what I imagined after reading The Little Princess and Secret Garden. Especially the parts that describe her as a mother, it astounded me that she could travel so much when her son's eyes could have told her when she looked into them - how much they needed to be with her. And then bestowing things to other kids which was very kind, but how did she ever think it would be good to tell her own children about it for their happiness ? It is seriously more of a torture for them, it ripped their hearts out I'm sure.
But I did delight in how she was with her grandchildren & other children later on: playing on the floor with them, making up stories, etc, her belief in fairies and her enjoyment in people, other countries and pretty things like the dollhouse.
In the end, I must say I enjoyed the book very much and it is always fascinating getting to know the author of your favorite books from childhood.
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Format: Hardcover
While during her life time (1849-1924), Frances Hodgson Burnett was best known for her many adult novels and plays, today it is for her children's books that she is remembered, especially for her masterpiece which has become a true classic and has never been out of print -- The Secret Garden. Frances Hodgson Burnett: The Unexpected Life Of The Author of "The Secret Garden" is an impressive and seminal effort in which biographer Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina (Professor of English, Bernard College, Columbia University) had the full cooperation of Burnett's descendants and relatives to help her examine and present an inherently fascinating life story of lively intelligence, contemporary sensitivity, and a wealth of new and never-before-published materials. From her modest beginnings in mid-Victorian Manchester, to her arrival in post-Civil "War Tennessee at the age of 15 with her widowed mother and two sisters, this outstanding biography details her become the family breadwinner at the age of 17 and the eventual publishing of 52 books and 13 plays. This is also the story of her marriages, flirtations, and a scandalous affair, the troubled motherhood of two sons (one of whom become the model for Little Lord Fauntleroy). A welcome and much appreciated contribution to literary biographies, Frances Hodgson Burnett is enthusiastically recommended reading!
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Format: Hardcover
I grew up loving THE SECRET GARDEN and wanted to know more about the author. This book details her amazing life plus the ups and downs.
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