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The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Secret Garden (1911)

by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
25,70944781 (4.14)868
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.
1910s (22)
Garden (5)

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English (437)  Italian (4)  German (3)  Spanish (2)  Arabic (1)  All languages (447)
Showing 1-5 of 437 (next | show all)
I enjoyed this book, but it didn't really resonate with me the way it might have had I read it when I was younger. ( )
  ca.bookwyrm | May 18, 2020 |
Writing: 4.5; The writing was really good in this classic fantasy tome; Theme: 4.5; A young orphan girl (Mary) is sent to live with a distant relative. Her relative has a young boy (Colin) who has grown up believing that he will never get any better from his condition while all those closest to him encourage his poor behavior and bad attitude. Mary learns of a "secret garden" which has been shut up for ten plus years and decides, with the help of her new friend (Dickon), that they will enliven this secret place. The rest of the story will inspire and encourage; Content: 5.0; Mary and Colin show some disrespectful and poor behavior, but they begin to mature throughout the novel; Language: 5.0; I don't remember any uses of vulgarity within this tome; Overall: 4.5; Very good writing and a solid story line give this classic a high score. ***April 28, 2020*** (Read with Jonathan) ( )
  jntjesussaves | May 2, 2020 |
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Mary Lennox is perhaps the most disagreeable, spiteful child there is. The daughter of a British couple living in India, Mary is mostly left for the native Indian servants to raise her as her parents neglect her for the most part. Because she lacks the typical love and affection of her parents, Mary grows up to be a downright horrible little girl. After an outbreak of cholera kills the locals and her parents, Mary is sent to live with her uncle Archibald Craven in Yorkshire, staying on his large estate. There, Mary befriends the maid Martha and her young brother, Dickon, and this friendship leads her to open up and eventually transform into a nice girl. But that's not where the story ends -- after Archibald leaves on a trip, Mary discovers that he has a son, an invalid named Colin who is just as spiteful as she was. Now, Mary must help him transform into an agreeable young boy, a seemingly impossible task.

When it started off, The Secret Garden wasn't the most exciting read. The characters weren't all that likable -- Mary in particular was off-setting, as she was the primary character. That, however, is the book's strongest suit: its character development. We get to see both Mary and Colin change their personalities, and it seems to fly by quicker than it actually did (this didn't really feel like 200 pages, which is the length of my volume). Some of the book does feel rather cheesy and repetitive, with the same process Mary went through coming up again in Colin's place, just with Mary acting in the same role Dickon did for her. Still, the book is definitely a classic and has stood the test of time. It is inspiring, enjoyable, and character-driven, and definitely worth the read.

Writing: 4.5 | The writing in this book is solid all the way through. It flows real nicely, and is able to stand the test of time.
Theme: 4.5 | After Mary Lennox is orphaned, she is sent to live with her uncle Archibald Craven, and in the time spent at her uncle's estate, she becomes a much more agreeable person, thanks to help from the locals and the majestic tranquility of the secret garden. When Mary discovers her cousin Colin, she tries to help him change just as she once did.
Content: 5.0 | At times the children are shown to be quite obnoxious, but it's a part of showing their poor character before it develops. There's nothing else worth mentioning, really.

Overall: 4.5 | The Secret Garden has remained one of the great classic novels of all time for good reason. Frances Hodgson Burnett is able to captivate the reader with descriptions of the setting and characters, and it is a touching story of two children who must develop from spiteful, horrible kids into agreeable and kind-hearted individuals. The book's strength is its ability to pose the characters as believable and not static as they develop over the course of the novel. Highly recommended.

***Finished April 26, 2020*** ( )
  DarthTindalus | Apr 28, 2020 |
I expected a little more from this classic. ( )
  rosies | Apr 25, 2020 |
great classic book to teach objective phrase, great story line not very much focus on how the characters are feeling, great first lesson for writers workshop. ( )
  CourtneyRay | Apr 21, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 437 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (26 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Burnett, Frances Hodgsonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Agutter, JennyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
ArcadyIllustrationssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bailey, JosephineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bailey, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barrett, AngelaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bauman, JillIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bawden, NinaForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brown, BarbaraIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brown, JanetAdaptersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carpenter, NancyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carter, Helena BonhamReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Caswell, KellyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Child, LaurenIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Christenson, HannahArtistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cockcroft, JasonIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Collier, MaryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cross, GillianForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dahl, SophieIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
DeKeyser, MargaretAdaptersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dellaporta, PenelopeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Design, PeartreePhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Devine, PhilIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gallagher, SusanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gerding, LauraIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gerzina,Gretchen HolbrookEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gibson, FloNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gilbert, Sandra M.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gillan, KarenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Graham, EleanorEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gratias, CaroleTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Høverstad, Torstein BuggeOvers.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hömke, FriedelÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hague, MichaelIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hömke, FriedelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hewetson, NicholasIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoff, GerdOvers.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Howell, TroyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hughes, FinolaReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hughes, ShirleyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hunt, PeterEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ingpen, RobertIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnson, CillaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Karhulahti, SariTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kaster, Shelley AustinIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kincaid, EricIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kliros, TheaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Knight, KathrynEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Konigsburg, E.L.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kork, M. B.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lauter, RichardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lawrie, RobinIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lermuzeaux, AntoineTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lurie, AlisonContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marklew, GillyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marks, AlanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maroney, VanessaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martin, Ann MatthewsIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Masterman, DodieIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mayer, FelixTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Müller, KlausIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McCaddon, WandaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McKowen, ScottIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McNulty, FaithAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mitchell, KathyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, IngaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muller, JillIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Numminen, Emilia(KÄÄnt.)secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Partridge, Tompaper engineersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Portugal, Roberto G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reim, RiccardoEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rinaldi, AngeloCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robert, Jean-JacquesAuteursecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robinson, CharlesIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rozier-GaudriaultIllustrationssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rust, GrahamIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sanderson, RuthIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Savage, KarenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seabag-montefiore, MaryAdaptersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sebold, AliceIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shallenberg, KaraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shepard, Ernest HIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
South, AnnaAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Speregen, Devra NewbergerAdaptersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, JulietReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sutton, JudithIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Swan, ToiniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tamaki, JillianIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Terrazzini, Daniela JaglenkaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thorne, JennyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tudor, TashaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Twinn, ColinIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Unwin, Nora S.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Veegens-Latorf, E.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, JohannaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Włodarkiewiczowa, JadwigaTł.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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When Mary Lennox was sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle, everybody said she was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen.
The seeds Dickon and Mary had planted grew as if fairies had tended them. Satiny poppies of all tints danced in the breeze by the score, gaily defying flowers which had lived in the garden for years and which it might be confessed seemed rather to wonder how such new people had got there. And the roses—the roses! Rising out of the grass, tangled round the sundial, wreathing the tree trunks, and hanging from their branches, climbing up the walls and spreading over them with long garlands falling in cascades—they came alive day by day, hour by hour. Fair, fresh leaves and buds— and buds—tiny at first, but swelling and working Magic until they burst and uncurled into cups of scent delicately spilling themselves over their brims and filling the garden air.
And over walls and earth and trees and swinging sprays and tendrils the fair green veil of tender little leaves had crept, and in the grass under the trees and the gray urns in the alcoves and here and there everywhere were touches or splashes of gold and purple and white and the trees were showing pink and snow above his head and there were fluttering of wings and faint sweet pipes and humming and scents and scents. And the sun fell warm upon his face like a hand with a lovely touch. And in wonder Mary and Dickon stood and stared at him.
They always called it Magic and indeed it seemed like it in the months that followed--the wonderful months--the radiant months--the amazing ones. Oh! the things which happened in that garden! If you have never had a garden you cannot understand, and if you have had a garden you will know that it would take a whole book to describe all that came to pass there. At first it seemed that green things would never cease pushing their way through the earth, in the grass, in the beds, even in the crevices of the walls. Then the green things began to show buds and the buds began to unfurl and show color, every shade of blue, every shade of purple, every tint and hue of crimson. In its happy days flowers had been tucked away into every inch and hole and corner. Ben Weatherstaff had seen it done and had himself scraped out mortar from between the bricks of the wall and made pockets of earth for lovely clinging things to grow on. Iris and white lilies rose out of the grass in sheaves, and the green alcoves filled themselves with amazing armies of the blue and white flower lances of tall delphiniums or columbines or campanulas. "She was main fond o' them--she was", Ben Weatherstaff said.
It was the sweetest, most mysterious-looking place any one could imagine. The high walls which shut it in were covered with the leafless stems of climbing roses which were so thick that they were matted together. Mary Lennox knew they were roses because she had seen a great many roses in India. All the ground was covered with grass of a wintry brown and out of it grew clumps of bushes which were surely rosebushes if they were alive. There were numbers of standard roses which had so spread their branches that they were like little trees. There were other trees in the garden, and one of the things which made the place look strangest and loveliest was that climbing roses had run all over them and swung down long tendrils which made light swaying curtains, and here and there they had caught at each other or at a far-reaching branch and had crept from one tree to another and made lovely bridges of themselves. There were neither leaves nor roses on them now and Mary did not know whether they were dead or alive, but their thin gray or brown branches and sprays looked like a sort of hazy mantle spreading over everything, walls, and trees, and even brown grass, where they had fallen from their fastenings and run along the ground. It was this hazy tangle from tree to tree which made it all look so mysterious. Mary had thought it must be different from other gardens which had not been left all by themselves so long; and indeed it was different from any other place she had ever seen in her life.
There had once been a flowerbed in it, and she thought she saw something sticking out of the black earth- -some sharp little pale green points. She remembered what Ben Weatherstaff had said and she knelt down to look at them. "Yes, they are tiny growing things and they might be crocuses or snowdrops or daffodils," she whispered. She bent very close to them and sniffed the fresh scent of the damp earth. She liked it very much. "Perhaps there are some other ones coming up in other places," she said. "I will go all over the garden and look." She did not skip, but walked. She went slowly and kept her eyes on the ground. She looked in the old border beds and among the grass, and after she had gone round, trying to miss nothing, she had found ever so many more sharp, pale green points, and she had become quite excited again. "It isn't a quite dead garden," she cried out softly to herself. "Even if the roses are dead, there are other things alive." She did not know anything about gardening, but the grass seemed so thick in some of the places where the green points were pushing their way through that she thought they did not seem to have room enough to grow. She searched about until she found a rather sharp piece of wood and knelt down and dug and weeded out the weeds and grass until she made nice little clear places around them. "Now they look as if they could breathe," she said, after she had finished with the first ones. "I am going to do ever so many more. I'll do all I can see. If I haven't time today I can come tomorrow." She went from place to place, and dug and weeded, and enjoyed herself so immensely that she was led on from bed to bed and into the grass under the trees.
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AR 6.3, Pts 13

One of the illustrators of The Secret Garden, Inga Moore, says, “I read a passage describing how Mary feels when she first sees the robin, sitting in a tree, singing its winter song.   The image of the little girl in the big, bare garden looking up at this tiny point of color and life leaped into my mind and asked to be drawn.”
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Penguin Australia

5 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0142437050, 0141321067, 0141336536, 0143106457, 0141331763

Candlewick Press

2 editions of this book were published by Candlewick Press.

Editions: 0763631612, 0763647322

Tantor Media

2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400100720, 1400108446

Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 1909438545, 1909438553

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