Rolvenden, Kent England – In 1898 Frances Hodgson Burnett was in England looking for a house to lease. She was 49, plump, vivacious and at the height of her literary career, having just scored a triumph with her latest book, Little Lord Fauntleroy.

Acting on a tip from her real estate agent, she took the train south from London on a cold February morning to the village of Rolvenden in the county of Kent. It was a typical English country village with not much more than a High Street, two pubs, a few cottages and the 13 th -century church of St. Mary the Virgin at the end of the street.

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