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      - Pollyanna

        Born in Littleton, New Hampshire, on December 19, 1868, Eleanor Emily Hodgman studied singing at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. She gained a local reputation as a singer in concerts and church choirs and continued her singing career after her marriage in 1892 to John L. Porter, a businessman. By 1901, however, she had abandoned music in favor of writing. Her stories began appearing in numerous popular magazines and newspapers, and in 1907 she published her first novel, Cross Currents. There followed The Turn of the Tide (1908); The Story of Marco (1911); Miss Billy (1911), her first really successful book; and Miss Billy's Decision (1912).
        In 1913 Porter published Pollyanna, a sentimental tale of a most improbable heroine, a young girl whose "glad game" of always looking for and finding the bright side of things somehow reforms her antagonists, restores hope to the hopeless, and generally rights the wrongs of the world. The book's immediate and enormous popularity--in countless reprinted editions it eventually sold over a million copies--must be attributed to the American reading public's eagerness for reassurance that rural virtues and cheerful optimism still existed, as well as to Porter's skill in blending dashes of social conscience and ironic distance into the sentimentalism of her message.


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