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When she was a teenager, author Frances Hodgson Burnett (Little Lord Fauntleroy, The Secret Garden) moved with her family from a comfortable existence in Manchester, England, to East Tennessee. It was 1865, and the scars of the American Civil War were still visible, particularly in Knoxville where the Hodgsons located. It was not an easy place for a teenage girl to be.

But Frances made the best of it. As Jack Neely writes in the introduction: "It was an extreme shift for what had been an affluent middle-class big-city family to live in near-frontier conditions, without even enough income to feed themselves well. With a good measure of romanticism, Frances adapted. She had been a fan of the Leatherstocking Tales of James Fenimore Cooper, whose frontier adventures were as popular in England as in America. She saw elements of his famous settings in her new home."

It was here, in the shadow of the Great Smoky Mountains, that Frances began her extraordinary writing career. And it was here that she returned, in her mind's vision, to write a remarkable and often overlooked autobiographical novel, The One I Knew the Best of All.

The novel is a delightful account of a childhood, protected but full of good stories and small adventures. It is told from the child's point of view and describes the emotions of the Small Person -- as Frances coyly refers to herself -- as she encounters relatives, friends, adults who would take advantage of her and those who would befriend her. She meets the realities of death and loss and the joys of achievement and friendship. She develops a taste for reading, then for storytelling, and finally for writing.

Those who want to know about Frances and how she began her long and wildly successful writing career need to read this book. Those who want insights about how a bright and innocent child sees the world and develops the wherewithal to face it should study this book.

Those who simply want a good story -- one that your children could read or you could read to them -- should obtain this book and put it in an honored place in your library. Nothing else like it exists.

This book is the first the Southern Appalachian Studies Editions, published by the Blount County Friends of the Library in Maryville, Tennessee. The purpose of the series is to bring out new editions of work by writers who have connections to East Tennessee.

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Price Summary

  • We started tracking this book on November 20, 2019.
  • The current price of this book is $2.99 last checked 13 hours ago.
  • This book is currently at its lowest price since we started tracking it.

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  • Text-to-Speech: Disabled
  • Lending: Disabled
  • Print Length: 255 Pages
  • File Size: 15,254 KB

We last verified the price of this book about 13 hours ago. At that time, the price was $2.99. This price is subject to change. The price displayed on the Amazon.com website at the time of purchase is the price you will pay for this book. Please confirm the price before making any purchases.