Thursday, 14 March 2013

The Secret Garden

Author: Frances Hodgson Burnett.

The Secret Garden was first published in serial form in 1910 by a publication called The American Magazine. The entire book was first published in 1911 by Fredrick A. Stokes in New York and by Heineman in London.

The Main Players: Mary Lennox, Mrs. Medlock, Mr. Craven, Marta, Dickon, Colin, Ben Weatherstaff, and lets not forget The Robin.

Plot Lines: A terrible illness, a forgotten orphan, a sea voyage, the orphan meets the housekeeper, another journey, this time, across a moor, a distant uncle, a new home with its fair share of secrets, a hidden relation, a forgotten piece of earth, a nosy robin, new friends- of the two and four legged variety, fresh air & magic, some good advice, hard work & miracles and a family reunion.

A Personal Note: As I was showing you my “Ceremonial Passage” reading shawl on Tuesday, I thought I would recommend one of the books I used as inspiration for that piece. I bought a second-hand copy of The Secret Garden when I was a young girl. I still have it now; it is just a fairly regular Classics paperback with a sky blue trim and a picture of the famous garden on the front cover. I think this is one of the first books that made a deep impression on my soul. I loved the imperfect sad protagonist. I loved the old manor house with its mysteries and locked rooms. I loved the cast of characters who slowly got closer and closer to Mary. I think the thing that moved me the most was the story of transformation. A forgotten child discovers a forgotten landscape that mirrors her inner loss. She then lovingly tends to it and so, tends to herself. It develops & grows and she with it. A story of sour and spoiled grief transmuted into beauty and natural healing. I’ve also posted a drawing I made of The Robin with the slogan “Mary Lennox is my Hero”. She really is my hero. She, as a character, was dealt a difficult hand but she does not let it destroy her whole life. She works, she tries and she makes mistakes. With the help of others, she doesn’t close down, she becomes creative and engaged. She transforms her life from a dry and barren desert into a lush and growing garden. 


First book cover image copyright of Puffin Books
Second book cover image copyright of Jillian Tamaki, commissioned by Penguin Classics Deluxe
Third book cover image copyright of Penguin Classics
Fourth book cover image copyright of Puffin Classics  

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