Posts Tagged ‘Frances Hodgson Burnett’
April 9, 2012 | by Vanessa Blakeslee
It is nearly impossible to imagine the best-selling authors of today living in Downton Abbey grandiosity. Stephen King as the Earl of Grantham? J. K. Rowling as the Lady of the manor? Yet for Frances Hodgson Burnett, the wild popularity of her prolific literary output made such a home her reality for nearly a decade—where an overgrown, neglected garden inspired the Victorian author’s most enduring work, The Secret Garden. That she is now solely regarded as a children’s book author would have stupefied her, for she produced fifty-two novels and thirteen plays, the majority written for adults. When Burnett moved into Great Maytham Hall in Kent, she was a far more popular success than her cohort Henry James, who lived down the road; with her plays bringing in more than a thousand dollars a week, she was her era’s equivalent of Rowling.