Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook

By Denise D. Knight | Go to book overview
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CRITICAL RECEPTION

Although The Secret Garden and A Little Princess are probably the most commonly known to readers of Burnett today, it was Fauntleroy that was her runaway best-seller in her lifetime. It sold "over a million copies in English alone, and [was] translated into more than a dozen languages. It made Frances at least a hundred thousand dollars in her lifetime" ( Thwaite94). Praised by critics, the work took on a life of its own when mothers inspired by the novel started a fashion craze for the long curls and black velvet suit with a lace collar worn by Cedric after his move to England. Unfortunately, this image far over- shadowed the novel's portrayal of the youth in New York, running street races in red stockings and befriending a grocer and shoeshine boy. Most of its enormously successful stage and film productions featured girls playing Cedric's role, which further reinforced its feminine reputation.

Primarily thought of today as a writer for children, Burnett wrote in a time when such distinctions were less common and her novels attracted a wide audience. Her main influences, other than conventional romances, were the well- known Victorian novelists such as Dickens, Gaskell, and Thackeray. Novels like her The Making of a Marchioness, in which a poor woman of noble descent marries the boring Marquis of Walderhurst, display a realism about marriage and social class more commonly associated with writers like Trollope and Eliot.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

Works by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Fiction

Dolly. Philadelphia: Porter & Coates, 1877. (Retitled as Vagabondia. New York: Scribner, 1879.)

Surly Tim and other stories. New York: Scribner, 1877.

That Lass o' Lowrie's. New York: Scribner, 1877.

Theo: A Love Story. Philadelphia: T. B. Peterson, 1877.

Earlier Stories (First Series). New York: Scribner, 1878.

Earlier Stories (Second Series). New York: Scribner, 1878.

Kathleen. Philadelphia: T. B. Peterson, 1878.

Miss Crespigny. Philadelphia: T. B. Peterson, 1878.

Our Neighbour Opposite. London: Routledge, 1878.

Haworth's. New York: Scribner, 1879.

Jarl's Daughter and other stories. Philadelphia: T. B. Peterson, 1879.

Natalie and other stories. London: Warne, 1879.

Louisiana. New York: Scribner, 1880.

A Fair Barbarian. Boston: Osgood, 1881.

Through One Administration. Boston: J. R. Osgood, 1883.

Pretty Polly Pemberton. Boston: J. R. Osgood, 1884.

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