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Eleanor H. Porter (1868 - 1920)

Porter, Eleanor H.

Eleanor Hodgeman Porter was born on December 19th, 1868 in Littleton, New Hampshire. She was educated in local schools, by private tutor, and subsequently at the New England Conservatory of Music, garnering praise for her singing through concerts and church appearances. In 1892, she married John Lyman Porter and moved to Massachusetts.

Porter published her first novel, Cross Currents in 1907. Turn of the Tide, the sequel, was published in 1908. In 1912, Miss Billy was published and became an enormous best-seller. It was about an orphaned girl going to live with unknown relatives. Two additional Miss Billy stories followed and in 1913, Pollyanna, Porter's best-known book about an incurably optimistic girl, was also an immediate success. By 1920, there had been forty-seven printings, and the book was later made into a Disney movie starring Hayley Mills (1960). Two of Porter's other books, Pollyanna Grows Up and Just David (1916), were also on the best-seller lists.

"Far up on the mountain-side stood alone in the clearing. It was roughly yet warmly built. Behind it jagged cliffs broke the north wind, and towered gray-white in the sunshine. Before it a tiny expanse of green sloped gently away to a point where the mountain dropped in another sharp descent, wooded with scrubby firs and pines. At the left a footpath led into the cool depths of the forest. But at the right the mountain fell away again and disclosed to view the picture David loved the best of all: the far-reaching valley; the silver pool of the lake with its ribbon of a river flung far out; and above it the grays and greens and purples of the mountains that climbed one upon another's shoulders until the topmost thrust their heads into the wide dome of the sky itself." (from Just David)

Porter died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on May 21, 1920.

Suggested sites for Eleanor H. Porter:

Encyclopedia article about Eleanor H. Porter
Texts by Porter
The story of the eternally optimistic orphan who finds happiness at her new home with her aunt.

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