Eleanor Hodgman (Porter) was born on December 19, 1868 in Littleton, NH. She was educated in local schools, and by private tutors, subsequently attending the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. She established a career singing in private homes, at public functions, and in church choirs. Hodgman married John Lyman Porter in 1892. By 1901, Porter had given up her musical career in favor of writing short stories. Her first novel, "Cross Currents," was published in 1907, and its sequel "Turn of the Tide," in 1908. In 1913, she published "Pollyanna," which became an immediate bestseller. Her other best seller "Just David," was published in 1916. The publisher, Houghton Mifflin Co. of Boston offered a prize for the best letter explaining how the book inspired its readers. Porter continued to write and publish at least one book a year until her death on May 21, 1920.