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.
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.