Frances Hodgson Burnett, fully Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett

Frances Hodgson
Burnett, fully Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett
1849
1924

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

Author Quotes

Sara... looked long and hard at his face.

The difficulty will be to keep her from learning too fast and too much. She is always sitting with her little nose burrowing into books. She doesn't read them, Miss Minchin; she gobbles them up as if she were a little wolf instead of a little girl. She is always starving for new books to gobble, and she wants grown-up books--great, big, fat ones--French and German as well as English--history and biography and poets, and all sorts of things. Drag her away from her books when she reads too much.

Two things cannot be in one place. Where you tend a rose, my lad, a thistle cannot grow.

You see, now that trials have come, they have shown that I am NOT a nice child. I was afraid they would. Perhaps...that is what they were sent for...I suppose there MIGHT be good in things [trials], even if we don't see it.

It's so easy that when you begin you can't stop. You just go on and on doing it always.

Of course there must be lots of Magic in the world, he said wisely one day, but people don't know what it is like or how to make it. Perhaps the beginning is just to say nice things are going to happen until you make them happen. I am going to try and experiment.

She chirped, and talked, and coaxed and he hopped, and flirted his tail and twittered. It was as if he were talking. His red waistcoat was like satin and he puffed his tiny breast out and was so fine and so grand and so pretty that it was really as if he were showing her how important and like a human person a robin could be. Mistress Mary forgot that she had ever been contrary in her life when he allowed her to draw closer and closer to him, and bend down and talk and try to make something like robin sounds.

The history of the circumstances about to be related began many years ago--or so it seems in these days. It began, at least, years before the world being rocked to and fro revealed in the pause between each of its heavings some startling suggestion of a new arrangement of its kaleidoscopic particles, and then immediately a re-arrangement, and another and another until all belief in a permanency of design seemed lost, and the inhabitants of the earth waited, helplessly gazing at changing stars and colours in a degree of mental chaos.

Well, it is. One of her 'pretends' is that she is a princess. She plays it all the time—even in school. She says it makes her learn her lessons better. She wants Ermengarde to be one, too, but Ermengarde says she is too fat.

It's true, she said. Sometimes I do pretend I am a princess. I pretend I am a princess, so that I can try and behave like one.

Oh! to think that he should actually let her come as near to him as that! He knew nothing in the world would make her put out her hand toward him or startle him in the least tiniest way. He knew it because he was a real person—only nicer than any other person in the world. She was so happy that she scarcely dared to breathe.

She did not care very much for other little girls, but if she had plenty of books she could console herself.

The Magic in this garden has made me stand up and know I am going to live to be a man.

What you have to do with your mind, when your body is miserable, is to make it think of something else.

Listen to th' wind wutherin' round the house, she said. You could bare stand up on the moor if you was out on it tonight.

Oh, how she did love that queer, common boy!

She heard a chirp and a twitter, and when she looked at the bare flower-bed at her left side there he was hopping about and pretending to peck things out of the earth to persuade her that he had not followed her. But she knew he had followed her and the surprise so filled her with delight that she almost trembled a little. You do remember me! she cried out. You do! You are prettier than anything else in the world! She chirped, and talked, and coaxed and he hopped, and flirted his tail and twittered. It was as if he were talking. His red waistcoat was like satin and he puffed his tiny breast out and was so fine and so grand and so pretty that it was really as if he were showing her how important and like a human person a robin could be. Mistress Mary forgot that she had ever been contrary in her life when he allowed her to draw closer and closer to him, and bend down and talk and try to make something like robin sounds. Oh! to think that he should actually let her come as near to him as that! He knew nothing in the world would make her put out her hand toward him or startle him in the least tiniest way. He knew it because he was a real person—only nicer than any other person in the world. She was so happy that she scarcely dared to breathe.

The mere fact that Lottie had come and gone away again made things seem a little worse-just as perhaps prisoners feel a little more desolate after visitors come and go, leaving them behind.

Whatever comes cannot alter one thing.

Lottie was so delighted that she quite forgot her first shocked impression of the attic. In fact, when she was lifted down from the table and returned to earthly things, as it were, Sara was able to point out to her many beauties in the room which she herself would not have suspected the existence of.

Oh,Sara. It is like a story. It is a story...everything is a story. You are a story-I am a story. Miss Minchin is a story.

She IS too fat, said Lavinia. And Sara is too thin.

The mere seeing of Miss Sara would have been enough without meat pies. If there was time only for a few words, they were always friendly, merry words that put heart into one...Sara--who was only doing what she unconsciously liked better than anything else, Nature having made her for a giver--had not the least idea what she meant to poor Becky, and how wonderful a benefactor she seemed.

Whatever comes, she said, cannot alter one thing. If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it.

Mary did not know what wutherin' meant until she listened, and then she understood. It must mean that hollow shuddering sort of roar which rushed round and round the house, as if the giant no one could see were buffeting it and beating at the walls and windows to try to break in. But one knew he could not get in, and somehow it made one feel very safe and warm inside a room with a red coal fire.

Author Picture
First Name
Frances Hodgson
Last Name
Burnett, fully Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett
Birth Date
1849
Death Date
1924
Bio

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