Sir Nigel Anstruthers comes to New York in search of an heiress, as he no longer has enough money to keep up his estate, Stornham Court. He marries the pretty and cosseted Rosalie Vanderpoel, the daughter of an American millionaire. But on their return to England, Nigel and his mother isolate Rosalie from her family. Many years later, Rosalie's now-grown up sister Bettina, who has spent a decade wondering why Rosy has lost contact with the family, arrives at Stornham Court to investigate. She discovers Rosalie and her son Ughtred, physically and emotionally fragile, living in the ruined estate. Bettina, who is both beautiful and made of considerably stronger stuff than her sister, begins to restore both Rosalie's health and spirits and the building and grounds of Stornham Court in Nigel's absence. Bettina, as an attractive heiress, attracts the attention of the local gentry and re-integrates her sister into society, and she also makes the acquaintance of another impoverished English nobleman, Lord Mount Dunstan.
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About the Author
Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924) was a British novelist and playwright. She is best known for the three children's novels Little Lord Fauntleroy, A Little Princess, and The Secret Garden, although her romantic adult novels were also popular, according to list of bestselling novels in the United States. Burnett was well known in Washington society and hosted a literary salon on Tuesday evenings, often attended by politicians, as well as local literati. She enjoyed socializing and lived a lavish lifestyle. She traveled to England frequently and in the 1890s bought a home there, where she wrote The Secret Garden.