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FRANCES HODGSON BURNETT Frances Eliza Hodgson was born on November 24 1849 in Manchester England the third of Edwin Hodgsons and Eliza Boonds five children Her father ran a prosperous firm which specialized in the trade of decorative arts for the interiors of houses At the time Manchester was experiencing a textile boom which infused the town with a rising middle-class and because these families were erecting magnificent houses Hodgsons merchandise was in demand The prosperity of the Hodgson family was cut short in 1854 when Edwin suffered a stroke Even more devastating to the family fortune was the American Civil War which caused a cessation of cotton shipments from Southern plantations crippling Manchesters economy Eliza Hodgson decided to emigrate to America and in 1865 when Burnett was sixteen the family settled in a small town about twenty-five miles from Knoxville Tennessee This move would prove instrumental in Burnetts development as a writer Although she had always been obsessed with storytelling and often amused her schoolmates by acting out tales of adventure and romance the financial strain of the emigration caused her to turn to writing as a means of supplementing the familys income The move from industrial England to rural America was for the family a journey to the green natural world that would become a central theme in many of Burnetts later works including The Secret Garden Burnetts first published story Miss Carutherss Engagement appeared in a magazine called Godleys Ladys Book in 1868 After the death of her mother in 1872 the family became increasingly dependent on her writing income She accelerated her career as a popular writer and sold stories to many magazines In September of 1873 she married Swann Burnett a doctor from Tennessee who was preparing to specialize in the treatment of the eye and ear He wished to further his specialty by studying in Europe and Burnett financed his wish once again becoming
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