Frances Browne (1816-1879) was an Irish poet and novelist who is best remembered for her enchanting stories for children, published under the title of Granny's Wonderful Chair. The collection tells the story of Snowflower, a little girl left alone in the world with a magical chair belonging to her absent grandmother, which can take her wherever she wants to go and can tell her marvellous stories. She sets off and reaches the castle of a troubled king, where the nightly tales told by the magic chair serve to change both her fortune and those of all the court.
Browne's superb tales rank her alongside the greatest fairy-tale writers of the age, such as Hans Christian Andersen and the Comtesse de Ségur. The stories are all the more remarkable for the fact that Frances Browne was blind from early childhood and her rich visual descriptions and vivid settings are all composed within her own mind's eye.
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