Item description for The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett...
Overview Ten-year-old Mary comes to live in a lonely house on the Yorkshire moors and discovers an invalid cousin and the mysteries of a locked garden
Publishers Description Few children's classics can match the charm and originality of Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden, the unforgettable story of sullen, sulky Mary Lennox, "the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen." When a cholera epidemic leaves her as an orphan, Mary is sent to England to live with her reclusive uncle, Archibald Craven, at Misselthwaite Manor. Unloved and unloving, Mary wanders the desolate moors until one day she chances upon the door of a secret garden. What follows is one of the most beautiful tales of transformation in children's literature, as Mary her sickly and tyrannical cousin Colin and a peasant boy named Dickson secretly strive to make the garden bloom once more. A unique blend of realism and magic, The Secret Garden remains a moving expression of every child's need to nurture and be nurtured--a story that has captured for all time the rare and enchanted world of childhood.
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Studio: Bantam Classics
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 6.16" Width: 5.01" Height: 0.65" Weight: 0.35 lbs.
Release Date Jan 1, 1987
Publisher Bantam Classics
ISBN 055321201X ISBN13 9780553212013
Availability 0 units.
More About Frances Hodgson Burnett
Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett (24 November 1849 – 29 October 1924) was an English-American playwright and author. She is best known for her children's stories, in particular Little Lord Fauntleroy (published in 1885-6), A Little Princess (1905), and The Secret Garden (1911).
Frances Eliza Hodgson was born in Cheetham, near Manchester, England. After her father died in 1852, the family eventually fell on straitened circumstances and in 1865 emigrated to the United States, settling near Knoxville, Tennessee. There, Frances began writing to help earn money for the family, publishing stories in magazines from the age of 19. In 1870 her mother died and in 1872 she married Swan Burnett, who became a medical doctor after which they lived in Paris for two years where their two sons were born before returning to the US to live in Washington D.C. There she began to write novels, the first of which (That Lass o' Lowries), was published to good reviews. Little Lord Fauntleroy was published in 1886 and made her a popular writer of children's fiction, although her romantic adult novels written in the 1890s were also popular. She wrote and helped to produce stage versions of Little Lord Fauntleroy and A Little Princess.
Burnett enjoyed socializing and lived a lavish lifestyle. Beginning in the 1880s, she began to travel to England frequently and bought a home there in the 1890s where she wrote The Secret Garden. Her oldest son, Lionel, died of tuberculosis in 1892, which caused a relapse of the depression she struggled with for much of her life. She divorced Swan Burnett in 1898 and married Stephen Townsend in 1900, and divorced him in 1902. Towards the end of her life she settled in Long Island, where she died in 1924 and is buried in Roslyn Cemetery, on Long Island.
In 1936 a memorial sculpture by Bessie Potter Vonnoh was erected in her honour in Central Park's Conservatory Garden. The statue depicts her two famous Secret Garden characters, Mary and Dickon.
Frances Hodgson Burnett lived in Manchester. Frances Hodgson Burnett was born in 1849 and died in 1924.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Secret Garden?
Favorite children's book May 29, 2008
This was my favorite book as a child. Still love it today. MUCH better than any of the movies made!
Great read for all ages Feb 10, 2008
If there is a main character for the book it is Misselthwaite Manor. If there is a present theme is that we (metaphorically speaking) can all unlock our secret garden and make it grow and make a world which we can invite others into.
The story examines a series of characters from Mary Lennox, Dicken Sowersby, Martha Sowersby and of course Colin Craven as they find their lives revolving around the gardens and the moores of a place located in Yorkshire England as they find 'the magic' of the place managing to provoke life changing lessons for all of them.
Like her other book 'The Little Princess', the book starts off in India, and like 'Little Princess', Mary suffers the death of her parents and finds herself trapped in England but that is where the novels part ways. Instead we are immersed into a world of robins, flowers, gardens and shimmering fog and springtime activities. Mistress Mary is cast among a world she barely understand but must learn to survive in. She unlocks mysteries, gets new friends and changes the life of another -- Colin forever.
Both my daughter and I enjoyed the novel until the very end where it decays a bit into endless exposition as Colin begins his scientific experiments. The ending itself almost leaves open a sequel as several character issues find themselves a bit hanging in a lurch but the focus is not on any one single character -- mistress Mary pretty much drops out of the novel halfway through it. It is on the world around us and how it can change us if we let it. We all have beautiful secret gardens in all of us if we are willing to find them and share them with others and in the world of today, that's a great message.
An Absolute Treasure! Feb 5, 2008
I can't believe I missed reading this growing up. My daughter and I just read this together. It was wonderful, and we both loved it. She likes to read books over and over, and I think she will appreciate reading this even more when she gets a little older. She loved the idea of secrets, twins, and the transformation of Mary. Having not had similar experiences to the characters in the books, such as losing close family members, she didn't quite understand the concept of a person having to learn to love and cry.
I loved the symbolism of the young girl blossoming with the garden, the relationship she develops with her cousin, the flower imagery, and the many little details like the birds nesting in the chairs in the run-down part of the manor. The mystery of this story is also wonderful and very suspenseful.
I think many adults who missed reading this growing up would enjoy this book. And I think all children, both boys and girls, should read this at least once. It is an absolute treasure.
Thoughts are "as good for one as sunlight is, or as bad for one as poison." Feb 4, 2008
A spoiled girl living in India and raised by servants because her mother (Chapter 1) "cared only to go to parties and amuse herself with gay people" and her father "had always been busy and ill himself" was, by six years of age "as tyrannical and selfish a little pig ever lived" and at nine years old, the only remaining of her family, her parents having died during a cholera outbreak. "Self-absorbed" as she was, "she did not miss her [mother] at all" and, after a brief stay at poor English clergyman's house, during which she is dubbed "Mistress Mary Quite Contrary" by his children, is sent to her mother's recluse widower brother at Misselthwaite Manor in England. Cared for, again, by servants in the 600-year-old house situated at the edge of a moor, Mary is allowed to wander and explore from dawn to dusk. And doesn't meet her new guardian, Mr. Wes Craven, for an entire month. Listening to Martha, the housemaid, as she shares stories of her poor but happy life with her loving mother and many siblings, Mary is especially intrigued by anecdotes involving her brother, Dicken, who is said to have a way with wild creatures. Through luck and the help of a seemingly magical bird, friend of a gruff, stoic, tactless gardener (the very gardener who cared for Mrs. Craven's garden), Mary finds the overgrown, abandoned (for ten years) forbidden garden. She learns some secrets about the house and its inhabitants and befriends a sad, sickly boy who believes he will die and so spends all his time indoors terrorizing the servants with his demands. The two form a strong bond and, together with Dicken, share many adventures together in the secret garden. But although the story's message is overwhelmingly positive, there are some negatives, especially the racist views of Mary. In India, she treats the native servants badly. She (Chapter 2) "always slapped her Ayah in the face when she was angry." And is so outraged that Martha expected her to be "black," calls her "daughter of a pig." During the same conversation, she tells Martha that "They [natives] are not people - they're servants who must salaam to you." Racism (and the annoying Yorkshire speech) aside, the children's transformation from spoiled to spirited and the perfectly sappy ending make this an excellent story about the power of positive thinking, friendship and love. Better: Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery.
Secret No More Feb 4, 2008
In the story, The Secret Garden, the main character is a ten year old girl named Mary Lennox. She is a selfish, sour little girl who gets everything she wants. When her parents die, she gets sent off in a train, from India, to her uncle's house, Misselthwaite Manor, in Yorkshire, England. At the house she expects to get everything she wants, but doesn't. There is nothing to do so she goes outside. Usually she would have sat inside all day in India and have people wait on her, but nothing is the same in England. Outside, is a vast open land called the moor. There is not much on it except for shrubs and grass. It is fall, so the whole land is gray and empty. Then one evening Mary hears about a secret garden that has been locked up for ten years. Apparently her uncle's wife had died in the garden. So Mary tries to find it. After awhile she makes friends with a robin who shows her where the garden is. It is surrounded by walls and inside everything is dead. Dry, gray vines hang over the walls, while dead flowers and plants lay aimlessly on the ground. Everyday Mary tends to the garden with her friend Dickon, an animal charmer, who she met. He helps Mary make the garden come alive. Then one night she heard strange crying noises in the house. She went to investigate and found out that it was a boy named Colin who actually turned out to be her cousin. Colin was a spoiled and sickly child, just like Mary used to be, and had tantrums nearly every night. Everyone was ordered to do whatever he wanted. It was also expected that he would die soon, being unable to walk and so sick all the time. The two children enjoyed each other. Together, they would laugh and play. Soon enough Mary told Colin about the garden and he decided to go see it in his wheel chair. After he had seen the garden, it was decided that it would be kept a secret and that they would go and play there without anyone ever knowing. Everyday, all three children went outside in secrecy and tended to it, in hope it would come alive. Colin then began walking and soon running. Finally the garden came alive and it looked just like and better than the children had imagined it. Then one afternoon, Colin's father came home. He saw that Colin was healthy and excepted him. They had become a family once again. I thought this book was very touching and sweet. It is not the type of book that is full of action, but the plot is simply and has a good message. The way the plot shows changes in the characters makes them come alive more and seem like real people. Even though the story was good, I thought it was a little slow. The conflicts were not very straight forward and it was a little bit too predictable. For example, Colin cannot walk. He the goes outside, which he would never do. It is very clear that he is going to get stronger and walk. The slow paste is good for less advanced readers but is nice if you would like to read a less exciting book. So I would recommend the book for relaxed reading.