Frances Hodgson Burnett, fully Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett

Frances Hodgson
Burnett, fully Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett

English Playwright and Author known for her children's stories, in particular The Secret Garden, A Little Princess, and Little Lord Fauntleroy

Author Quotes

In the garden there was nothing which was not quite like themselves - nothing which did not understand the wonderfulness of what was happening to them - the immense, tender, terrible, heart-breaking beauty and solemnity of Eggs. If there had been one person in that garden who had not known through all his or her innermost being that if an Egg were taken away or hurt the whole world would whirl round and crash through space and come to an end... there could have been no happiness even in that golden springtime air.

Mother says as th' two worst things as can happen to a child is never have his own way-- or always to have it. She doesn't know which is th' worst.

Only once in a while you can be sure that you will live forever, and that is one of the curiosities of life. Sometimes it happens when you get up at dawn, the time of mellifluous solemnity, and exit to the garden and stays still and only one there, and gets far away, higher and higher, and observed how the changes color pale blue sky, blushing, how will the unusual and wonderful happening until the East almost makes one cry out, and the heart ceased beating appears before the inexplicable, imperturbable majesty of the rising sun. For thousands of years, this is what happens every morning, and that's when you know for a moment that you will live forever. And you know sometimes when you're alone in a forest, in the twilight, and the mysterious deep gold stillness that descends bending the branches, and under them, seem to tell us very slowly, again and again, something not fully understood, though heard. And then sometimes we confirmed the immense quiet of the dark blue of the night, in which we wait and watch millions of stars, and sometimes tells us distant music, and others, is written in eyes watching us.

She stopped and listened to him and somehow his cheerful, friendly little whistle gave her a pleased feeling--even a disagreeable little girl may be lonely, and the big closed house and big bare moor and big bare gardens had made this one feel as if there was no one left in the world but herself. If she had been an affectionate child, who had been used to being loved, she would have broken her heart, but even though she was Mistress Mary Quite Contrary she was desolate, and the bright-breasted little bird brought a look into her sour little face which was almost a smile. She listened to him until he flew away. He was not like an Indian bird and she liked him and wondered if she should ever see him again. Perhaps he lived in the mysterious garden and knew all about it.

The tea was so delicious that it was not necessary to pretend it was anything but tea.

When I was at school my jography told me th' earth was shaped like a orange an' I found out before I was ten that th' whole orange doesn't belong to nobody. No one owns more than his bit of a quarter an' there's times it seems there's not enow quarters to go around. But don't you-none o' you- think as you own th' whole orange or you'll find out you're mistaken, an' you won't find it without hard knocks. What children learns from children, is that there's no sense grabbin' at th' whole orange-peel an' all. If you do you'll likely not get even th' pips, an' them's too bitter to eat.

In the last Century more amazing things were found out than in any Century before. In this Century hundreds of things still more astounding will be brought to light. At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can't be done, then they see it can be done - then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago. One of the new things people began to find out in the last Century was that thoughts - just mere thoughts - are as powerful as electric batteries - as good for one as sunlight is, or as bad for one as poison. To let a sad thought or a bad one get into your mind is as dangerous as letting a scarlet fever germ get into your body. If you let it stay there after it gets in you may never get over it as long as you live.

Much more surprising things can happen to anyone who, when a disagreeable or discouraged thought comes into his mind, just has the sense to remember in time and push it out by putting in an agreeable, determinedly courageous one. Two things cannot be in one place.

People never like me and I never like people, she thought. And I never can talk as the Crawford children could. They were always talking and laughing and making noises.

She wished she could talk as he did. His speech was so quick and easy. It sounded as if he liked her and was not the least afraid she would not like him, though he was only a common moor boy, in patched clothes and with a funny face and a rough, rusty-red head.

The truth is that when one is still a child-or even if one is grown up- and has been well fed, and has slept long and softly and warm; when one has gone to sleep in the midst of a fairy story, and has wakened to find it real, one cannot be unhappy or even look as if one were; and one could not, if one tried, keep a glow of joy out of one's eyes.

When Mary Lennox was sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle everybody said she was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen. It was true too . . . she was as tyrannical and selfish a little pig as ever lived.

Is the spring coming? he said. What is it like?

My mother always says people should be able to take care of themselves, even if they're rich and important.

Perhaps I have not really a good temper at all, but if you have everything you want and everyone is kind to you, how can you help but be good-tempered? Perhaps I'm a HIDEOUS child, and no one will ever know, just beecause I never have any trials. (Sara Crewe, A Little Princess)

So long as I know what's expected of me, I can manage.

Their eyes met with a singular directness of gaze. Between them a spark passed which was not afterwards to be extinguished, though neither of them knew the moment of its kindling...

When people are insulting you, there is nothing so good for them as not to say a word -- just to look at them and think. When you will not fly into a passion people know you are stronger than they are, because you are strong enough to hold in your rage, and they are not, and they say stupid things they wished they hadn't said afterward. There's nothing so strong as rage, except what makes you hold it in -- that's stronger. It's a good thing not to answer your enemies.

It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine.

Neither do I -- to speak truth. But I suppose there might be good in things, even if we don't see it.

Perhaps there is a language which is not made of words and everything in the world understands it.

Soldiers don't complain...I am not going to do it; I will pretend this is part of a war.

There was something friendly about Sara, and people always felt it.

Where you tend a rose my lad, a thistle cannot grow.

It made her think that it was curious how much nicer a person looked when he smiled. She had not thought of it before.

Author Picture
First Name
Frances Hodgson
Last Name
Burnett, fully Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett
Birth Date
Death Date

English Playwright and Author known for her children's stories, in particular The Secret Garden, A Little Princess, and Little Lord Fauntleroy