posted a Read a Long button
‘The Secret Garden’
that caught my attention this month ~
Having enjoyed the various movie adaptations
and live theatre performance while living in Prince Edward Island
it was the perfect timing for reading the real deal
The promise of a Secret Garden Party at the end of the month
clinched my participation!
The Secret Garden
tells the story of Mary Lennox, a neglected child, left in the care of her
Indian ayah and servants while parents choose life as if childless.
When those servants die in a cholera outbreak,
along with her parents, Mary is unexpectedly discovered alone in the home
necessitating arrangements that will return her to family in Yorkshire England.
Thus begins the new life of our young Mistress Mary quite contrary…
I love author Frances Hodgson Burnett’s depictions of
Yorkshire characters populating this story ~
Martha and her brother Dickon, key figures of good and influence
on the young and entitled cousins of Colin and Mary.
brought fully to life through dialect and activites ~
realistic and colourful servants such as gardener,
Ben Weatherstaff, and protagonists alike,
kept me interested in the development of both story
and maturing of the spoilt master and mistress of Misselthwaite Manor.
I can imagine the anticipation of reading the original story,
published in serial format, autumn of 1910,
preceding it’s publication as a novel in 1911.
Descriptions of the Secret Garden itself
allowed for creative and imaginative visualization
of native plants and the Yorkshire moors
alongside the cultivars of the Garden’s original owner and gardeners,
piqued my interest in the role of the Garden itself…
Some of my favourite quotes?
“I warrant it’s been goin’ on in th’ same way every year since th’ world was begun.”
“Two lads an’ a little lass just lookin’ on at th’ springtime.”
“…there’ll be peach an’ plum trees in bloom against th’ walls,
an’ th’ grass’ll be a carpet o’ flowers.”
“…the plum-tree, which was snow-white with blossoms and musical with bees.
It was like a king’s canopy, a fairy king’s.
There were flowering cherry-trees near
and apple-trees whose buds were pink and white,
and here and there one had burst open wide.”
Here’s a brief intro to the story from the lovely 1987 movie ~
“When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed
if I had been found doing so.
Now that I am fifty I read them openly.
When I became a man I put away childish things,
including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”
― C.S. Lewis
a bit of background from wikipedia-
“The walled garden of Great Maytham Hall
provided the inspiration for one of the most famous of all books for children,
The Secret Garden.
Its author, Frances Hodgson Burnett, lived at Great Maytham Hall from 1898 to 1907,
where she found the old walled garden
dating from 1721 sadly overgrown and neglected.
Aided by a robin, Burnett discovered the door hidden amongst the ivy,
and began the restoration of the garden, which she planted with hundreds of roses.
She set up a table and chair in the gazebo,
and dressed always in a white dress and large hat,
she wrote a number of books in the peace and tranquility of her scented secret garden.”
“You and I who still enjoy fairy tales have less reason to wish actual childhood back.
We have kept its pleasures and added some grown-up ones as well.”
― C.S. Lewis