Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter. Pollyanna is a best-selling 1913 novel by Eleanor H. Porter that is now considered a classic of children's literature, with the title character's name becoming a popular term for someone with the same very optimistic outlook: a subconscious bias towards the positive is often described as the Pollyanna principle. The title character is Pollyanna Whittier, a young orphan who goes to live in the fictional town of Beldingsville, Vermont, with her wealthy but stern and cold spinster Aunt Polly, who does not want to take in Pollyanna but feels it is her duty to her late sister. Pollyanna's philosophy of life centers on what she calls "The Glad Game," an optimistic and positive attitude she learned from her father. The game consists of finding something to be glad about in every situation, no matter how bleak it may be. It originated in an incident one Christmas when Pollyanna, who was hoping for a doll in the missionary barrel, found only a pair of crutches inside. Making the game up on the spot, Pollyanna's father taught her to look at the good side of things-in this case, to be glad about the crutches because she didn't need to use them.
A beautiful gift edition of Eleanor H. Porter's children's classic
Eleanor Hodgman Porter was born in Littleton, New Hampshire, in 1868. She was musically talented from early childhood and trained at the New England Conservatory before embarking on a career as a singer. She married John Lyman Porter in 1892 and turned her hand to writing, publishing her first children's book, Cross Currents, in 1907. A prolific writer, Porter followed this with fourteen more books and innumerable short stories. She is best remembered for Pollyanna, the eponymous story of an irrepressibly optimistic young orphan, which brought her huge international success. She died in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1920.