Eleanor H(odgman) Porter (1868 - 1920) was an American novelist and short-story writer whose children's story 'Pollyanna' became the Harry Potter of its day. Pollyanna's irrepressible optimism is illustrated by the 'glad game', in which she would find the positive in any situation. 'Glad Clubs' were formed, and the book was adapted for the theatre, cinema and television.
Eleanor Porter was born Eleanor Emily Hodgman on 19 December 1868, in Littleton, New Hampshire. She was trained as a singer but later turned to writing. She married John Lyman Porter on 03 May 1892 and started writing short stories, usually set in New England, which were published in the popular magazines and newspapers of the day including Woman’s Home Companion and Harper’s Weekly.
Her adult novels include The Turn of the Tide (1908), The Road to Understanding (1917), Oh Money! Money! (1918), Dawn (1919), Keith’s Dark Tower (1919), Mary Marie (1920), and Sister Sue (1921). Cross Currents (1907) was her first full-length novel to be published, followed by The Turn of the Tide (1908) and The Story of Marco (1911). Miss Billy (1911) was her first commercial success, followed by Miss Billy’s Decision (1912) and Miss Billy Married (1914). However, with the arrival of Pollyanna (1913) and Pollyanna Grows Up (1915) Porter won international acclaim.
The young orphan Pollyanna Whittier was an inspiration to young boys and girls everywhere with her irrepressible optimism and joie de vivre, “just breathing isn’t living!”. Glad Clubs sprang up, and the book was adapted for the theatre, television and screen productions. Mary Pickford starred in the silent film version of 1920, Hayley Mills in the 1960s version.