Eleanor H. Porter
Eleanor Hodgman Porter was born into an old New England family on the 19th of December, 1868, in Littleton, N.H. She married John L. Porter, a businessman, in 1892.
An excellent singer who performed in concerts and with church choirs, she studied for several years at the New England Conservatory of Music. By the early 1900s she had given up her singing career for writing and, after a series of her stories appeared in popular magazines and newspapers, she published her first book -- Cross Currents -- in 1907. Miss Billy, published in 1911, was her first really successful book; Miss Billy's Decision followed in 1912.
But it was Pollyanna, the sentimental story of a plucky and optimistic girl facing life's difficulties, that became a popular phenomenon. The book was immediately wildly popular. One million copies were sold in 1913, the year it was first published. Two years later Porter wrote a sequel, Pollyanna Grows Up, in which the spirited heroine travels to Europe and discovers adult challenges.
Pollyanna was adapted for Broadway in a production starring Helen Hayes in 1916 and then into a motion picture starring Mary Pickford ("America's Sweetheart) in 1920. The 1960 Disney version made a star of Hayley Mills and is still popular today.
Porter died on the 21st of May, 1920, in Cambridge, Mass. Several Pollyanna sequels were written by other authors after her death.
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