The Secret Garden is a 1910 children’s classic by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I always take refuge in children’s books when I want to feel good; this time, I wanted to read a classic. The Secret Garden, unfortunately, was not a children’s book that I liked very much. However, I had high expectations for this highly popular classic. I don’t think I’ll be reading any of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s books from now on.
I vaguely remember watching the film The Secret Garden as a kid. But I don’t remember the story or the characters, just a few beautiful garden scenes, that’s all. It seems that I was interested in gardens and flowers as a child, so only these are engraved in my memory.
The Secret Garden, which started well and gradually lost its tempo; after a while, it repeated itself and unfortunately became boring. I won’t say that I read The Secret Garden too late, so I didn’t understand its value. That is not true at all. I read many children’s books, and I mostly enjoy them immensely. The fact that I forced myself to finish The Secret Garden tells a lot.
The Secret Garden was a pretty cute book on the surface, but I thought it was a book with nothing deep inside. Yes, it was delightful for the children to come to their senses as they went out into the fresh air and scratched the ground and healed both physically and morally in a “magical” way, but it was also the height of nonsense. Oh, and I had to put up with the absurd and unnecessary exhaustion of trying to read a northern English dialect. What good has this done for me? Nothing.
So is there nothing good in the Secret Garden? There is, of course, the love of animals. Every parent knows how important it is to instil a love of animals in their children at a very early age. In this book, the relationship of children with animals was charming. As an adult who adores flowers and gardens, I also enjoyed reading the garden created by the author, but I’m not sure how much the kids will enjoy it. I’ll try and read award-winning children’s books from now on.
The Secret Garden
“One of the most delightful and enduring classics of children’s literature, The Secret Garden by Victorian author Frances Hodgson Burnett has remained a firm favorite with children the world over ever since it made its first appearance. Initially published as a serial story in 1910 in The American Magazine, it was brought out in novel form in 1911.
The Secret Garden: The plot centers round Mary Lennox, a young English girl who returns to England from India, having suffered the immense trauma by losing both her parents in a cholera epidemic. However, her memories of her parents are not pleasant, as they were a selfish, neglectful and pleasure-seeking couple. Mary is given to the care of her uncle Archibald Craven, whom she has never met. She travels to his home, Misselthwaite Manor located in the gloomy Yorkshire, a vast change from the sunny and warm climate she was used to.
When she arrives, she is a rude, stubborn and given to stormy temper tantrums. However, her nature undergoes a gradual transformation when she learns of the tragedies that have befallen her strict and disciplinarian uncle whom she earlier feared and despised. Once when he’s away from home, Mary discovers a charming walled garden which is always kept locked. The mystery deepens when she hears sounds of sobbing from somewhere within her uncle’s vast mansion. The kindly servants ignore her queries or pretend they haven’t heard, spiking Mary’s curiosity.
The Secret Garden appeals to both young and old alike. It has wonderful elements of mystery, spirituality, charming characters and an authentic rendering of childhood emotions and experiences. Commonsense, truth and kindness, compassion and a belief in the essential goodness of human beings lie at the heart of this unforgettable story. It is the best known of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s works, though most of us have definitely heard of, if not read, her other novel Little Lord Fauntleroy.
The Secret Garden has been adapted extensively on stage, film and television and translated into all the world’s major languages. In 1991, a Japanese anime version was launched for television in Japan.The Secret Garden remains a popular and beloved story of a child’s journey into maturity, and a must-read for every child, parent, teacher and anyone who would enjoy this fascinating glimpse of childhood.
One of the most delightful and enduring classics of children’s literature, The Secret Garden by Victorian author Frances Hodgson Burnett has remained a firm favorite with children the world over ever since it made its first appearance. Initially published as a serial story in 1910 in The American Magazine, it was brought out in novel form in 1911.”
Frances Hodgson Burnett
Frances Hodgson Burnett, née Frances Eliza Hodgson, (born Nov. 24, 1849, Manchester, Eng.—died Oct. 29, 1924, Plandome, N.Y., U.S.), American playwright and author who wrote the popular novel Little Lord Fauntleroy.
Frances Hodgson grew up in increasingly straitened circumstances after the death of her father in 1854. In 1865 the family immigrated to the United States and settled in New Market, near Knoxville, Tennessee, where the promise of support from a maternal uncle failed to materialize. In 1868 Hodgson managed to place a story with Godey’s Lady’s Book. Within a few years she was being published regularly in Godey’s, Peterson’s Ladies’ Magazine, Scribner’s Monthly, and Harper’s. In 1873, after a year’s visit to England, she married Dr. Swan Moses Burnett of New Market (divorced 1898).
Burnett’s first novel, That Lass o’ Lowrie’s, which had been serialized in Scribner’s, was published in 1877. Like her short stories, the book combined a remarkable gift for realistic detail in portraying scenes of working-class life—unusual in that day—with a plot consisting of the most romantic and improbable of turns. After moving with her husband to Washington, D.C., Burnett wrote the novels Haworth’s (1879), Louisiana (1880), A Fair Barbarian (1881), and Through One Administration (1883), as well as a play, Esmeralda (1881), written with actor-playwright William Gillette.
In 1886 Burnett’s most famous and successful book appeared. First serialized in St. Nicholas magazine, Little Lord Fauntleroy was intended as a children’s book, but it had its greatest appeal to mothers. It established the main character’s long curls (based on her son Vivian’s) and velvet suit with lace collar (based on Oscar Wilde’s attire) as a mother’s model for small boys, who generally hated it.
The book sold more than half a million copies, and Burnett’s income was increased by her dramatized version, which quickly became a repertory standard on the order of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. In 1888 she won a lawsuit in England over the dramatic rights to Little Lord Fauntleroy, establishing a precedent that was incorporated into British copyright law in 1911.
Her later books include Sara Crewe (1888), dramatized as The Little Princess (1905), and The Secret Garden (1909), both of which were also written for children. The Lady of Quality (1896) has been considered the best of her other plays. These, like most of her 40-odd novels, stress sentimental, romantic themes. In 1893 she published a memoir of her youth, The One I Knew Best of All. From the mid-1890s she lived mainly in England, but in 1909 she built a house in Plandome, Long Island, New York, where she died in 1924. Her son Vivian Burnett, the model for Little Lord Fauntleroy, wrote a biography of her in 1927 entitled The Romantick Lady.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: