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"THE STORY OF PRINCE FAIRYFOOT" was originally intended to be the first of a series, under the general title of "Stories from the Lost Fairy-Book, Re-told by the Child Who Read Them, " concerning which Mrs.
Burnett relates: "When I was a child of six or seven, I had given to me a book of fairy-stories, of which I was very fond. Before it had been in my possession many months, it disappeared, and, though since then I have tried repeatedly, both in England and America, to find a copy of it, I have never been able to do so. I asked a friend in the Congressional Library at Washington--a man whose knowledge of books is almost unlimited--to try to learn something about it for me.
But even he could find no trace of it; and so we concluded it must have been out of print some time. I always remembered the impression the stories had made on me, and, though most of them had become very faint recollections, I frequently told them to children, with additions of my own. The story of Fairyfoot I had promised to tell a little girl; and, in accordance with the promise, I developed the outline I remembered, introduced new characters and conversation, wrote it upon note paper, inclosed it in a decorated satin cover, and sent it to her.
In the first place, it was re-written merely for her, with no intention of publication; but she was so delighted with it, and read and reread it so untiringly, that it occurred to me other children might like to hear it also. So I made the plan of developing and re-writing the other stories in like manner, and having them published under the title of 'Stories from the Lost Fairy-Book, Re-told by the Child Who Read Them.'"
Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett (1849 -1924) was an English-American playwright and author.
She is best known for her children's stories, in particular Little Lord Fauntleroy (published in 1885-6), A Little Princess (1905), and The Secret Garden (1911).