The Secret Garden

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Press: Yearling; Reprint edition (November 1, 1987)
Publication Date:1987-11
ISBN:9780440400554
Author Name:Burnett, Frances Hodgson
Pages:10
Language:English

Content

What secrets lie behind the doors at Misselthwaite manor? Recently arrived at her uncle's estate, orphaned mary Lennox is spoiled, sickly, and certain she won't enjoy living there. 
Then she discovers the arched doorway into an overgrown garden, shut up since the death of her aunt ten years earlier.
Mary soon begins transforming it into a thing of beauty--unaware that she is changing too.But Missalthwaite hides another secret, as Mary discovers one night.
High in a dark room, away from the rest of the house, lies her young cousin Colin, who believes he is an incurable invalid, destined to die young.
His tantrums are so frightful, no one can reason with him.
If only, Mary hopes, she can get Colin to love the secret garden as much as she does, its magic wil work wonders on him.

From Publishers Weekly

Soothing and mellifluous, native Briton Bailey's voice proves an excellent instrument for polishing up a new edition of Burnett's story. 
Bratty and spoiled Mary Lennox is orphaned when her parents fall victim to a cholera outbreak in India.
As a result, Mary becomes the ward of an uncle in England she has never met.
As she hesitantly tries to carve a new life for herself at imposing and secluded Misselthwaite Manor, Mary befriends a high-spirited boy named Dickon and investigates a secret garden on the Manor grounds.
She also discovers a sickly young cousin, Colin, who has been shut away in a hidden Manor room.
Together Mary and Dickon help Colin blossom, and in the process Mary finds her identity and melts the heart of her emotionally distant uncle.
Bailey makes fluid transitions between the voices and accents of various characters, from terse Mrs.
Medlock and surly groundskeeper Ben to chipper housemaid Martha.
And most enjoyably, she gives Mary a believably childlike voice.
A brief biography of the author is included in an introduction.
Ages 6-12.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-8-Originally published in 1911, the story of Mary Lennox's transformation from impudent orphan to compassionate friend in the forbidden garden of Misselthwaite Manor has been recorded for a new generation to enjoy. 
Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic is done justice by the vocal talents of Josephine Bailey.
From the start, the narrator's lilting English accent will capture students' attention, but it is her vocal characterizations that will hold it.
Abundant dialogue is enhanced with the authentic-sounding broad Yorkshire of the brusque Mrs.
Medlock, the talkative Martha, and the crotchety old Ben, contrasted with Mary's precise and proper English.
Bailey effortlessly captures the innocence of the young and the world-weariness of the old, while moving seamlessly between the two.
There are no sound effects, and they are not needed.
The overall aural quality is excellent.
While the length of the production may initially scare off some listeners, those who persevere will be rewarded with a rich literary experience.
Leigh Ann Rumsey, Penn Yan Academy, NYCopyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.
All rights reserved.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From Kirkus Reviews

In this bad version of a bad idea, the richly developed classic novel has been squeezed into the picture-book format. 
Resembling the bald summary of an opera plot, the story in its reduced state is all but a clich: An orphaned girl finds a neglected garden and a neglected cousin and restores them both with the aid of the housemaid's young brother.
Collier's full-color paintings take advantage of the opportunities for flora and fauna as the garden responds to cultivation and to the turning seasons, but the children's figures seem pasted into the space, and the scenes lack warmth.
(Picture book.
4-8) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP.
All rights reserved.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Review

"This adaptation has its own special appeal. 
Although considerably shorter than the original, it remains faithful to the plot.
Allen's oversize chalk drawings are handsome.
Children sometimes pass over Burnett's story because by the time they are able to read it, they are no longer interested in the subject.
For them, this adaptation will work well."--Booklist.  From the Hardcover edition.

From the Publisher

What secrets lie behind the doors at Misselthwaite manor?  Recently arrived at her uncle's estate, orphaned mary Lennox is  spoiled, sickly, and certain she won't enjoy living there. 
Then she discovers the arched doorway into an overgrown garden, shut up since the death of her aunt ten years earlier.
Mary soon begins transforming it into a thing of beauty--unaware that she is changing too.But Missalthwaite hides another secret, as Mary discovers one night.
High in a dark room, away from the rest of the house, lies her young cousin Colin, who believes he is an incurable invalid, destined to die young.
His tantrums are so frightful, no one can reason with him.
If only, Mary hopes, she can get Colin to love the secret garden as much as she does, its magic wil work wonders on him.

From the Inside Flap

What secrets lie behind the doors at Misselthwaite manor? Recently arrived at her uncle's estate, orphaned mary Lennox is spoiled, sickly, and certain she won't enjoy living there. 
Then she discovers the arched doorway into an overgrown garden, shut up since the death of her aunt ten years earlier.
Mary soon begins transforming it into a thing of beauty--unaware that she is changing too.
But Missalthwaite hides another secret, as Mary discovers one night.
High in a dark room, away from the rest of the house, lies her young cousin Colin, who believes he is an incurable invalid, destined to die young.
His tantrums are so frightful, no one can reason with him.
If only, Mary hopes, she can get Colin to love the secret garden as much as she does, its magic wil work wonders on him.

From the Back Cover

"One of th' gardens is locked up. 
No one has been in it for ten years."When orphaned Mary Lennox comes to live at her uncle's great house on the Yorkshire Moors, she finds it full of mysterious secrets.
There are nearly one hundred rooms, most of which are locked, and the house is filled with creepy old portraits and suits of armor.
Mary rarely sees her uncle, and perhaps most unsettling of all is that at night she hears the sound of someone crying down one of the long corridors.The gardens surrounding the odd property are Mary's escape and she explores every inch of them—all except for the mysterious walled-in, locked garden.
Then one day, Mary discovers a key.
Could it open the door to the garden?

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Alice Sebold is the author of the novel The Lovely Bones, and a memoir, Lucky. 
She lives in California with her husband.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

CHAPTER IThere Is No One LeftWhen Mary Lennox was sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle everybody said she was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen. 
It was true, too.
She had a little thin face and a little thin body, thin light hair and a sour expression.
Her hair was yellow, and her face was yellow because she had been born in India and had always been ill in one way or another.
Her father had held a position under the English Government and had always been busy and ill himself, and her mother had been a great beauty who cared only to go to parties and amuse herself with gay people.
She had not wanted a little girl at all, and when Mary was born she handed her over to the care of an Ayah, who was made to understand that if she wished to please the Mem Sahib she must keep the child out of sight as much as possible.
So when she was a sickly, fretful, ugly little baby she was kept out of the way, and when she became a sickly, fretful, toddling thing she was kept out of the way also.
She never remembered seeing familiarly anything but the dark faces of her Ayah and the other native servants, and as they always obeyed her and gave her her own way in everything, because the Mem Sahib would be angry if she was disturbed by her crying, by the time she was six years old she was as tyrannical and selfish a little pig as ever lived.
The young English governess who came to teach her to read and write disliked her so much that she gave up her place in three months, and when other governesses came to try to fill it they always went away in a shorter time than the first one.
So if Mary had not chosen to really want to know how to read books she would never have learned her letters at all.One frightfully hot morning, when she was about nine years old, she awakened feeling very cross, and she became crosser still when she saw that the servant who stood by her bedside was not her Ayah.“Why did you come?” she said to the strange woman.
“I will not let you stay.
Send my Ayah to me.”The woman looked frightened, but she only stammered that the Ayah could not come and when Mary threw herself into a passion and beat and kicked her, she looked only more frightened and repeated that it was not possible for the Ayah to come to Missie Sahib.There was something mysterious in the air that morning.
Nothing was done in its regular order and several of the native servants seemed missing, while those whom Mary saw slunk or hurried about with ashy and scared faces.
But no one would tell her anything and her Ayah did not come.
She was actually left alone as the morning went on, and at last she wandered out into the garden and began to play by herself under a tree near the veranda.
She pretended that she was making a flower-bed, and she stuck big scarlet hibiscus blossoms into little heaps of earth, all the time growing more and more angry and muttering to herself the things she would say and the names she would call Saidie when she returned.“Pig! Pig! Daughter of Pigs!” she said, because to call a native a pig is the worst insult of all.She was grinding her teeth and saying this over and over again when she heard her mother come out on the veranda with some one.
She was with a fair young man and they stood talking together in low strange voices.
Mary knew the fair young man who looked like a boy.
She had heard that he was a very young officer who had just come from England.
The child stared at him, but she stared most at her mother.
She always did this when she had a chance to see her, because the Mem Sahib—Mary used to call her that oftener than anything else—was such a tall, slim, pretty person and wore such lovely clothes.
Her hair was like curly silk and she had a delicate little nose which seemed to be disdaining things, and she had large laughing eyes.
All her clothes were thin and floating, and Mary said they were “full of lace.” They looked fuller of lace than ever this morning, but her eyes were not laughing at all.
They were large and scared and lifted imploringly to the fair boy officer’s face.“Is it so very bad? Oh, is it?” Mary heard her say.“Awfully,” the young man answered in a trembling voice.
“Awfully, Mrs.
Lennox.
You ought to have gone to the hills two weeks ago.”The Mem Sahib wrung her hands.“Oh, I know I ought!” she cried.
“I only stayed to go to that silly dinner party.
What a fool I was!”At that very moment such a loud sound of wailing broke out from the servants’ quarters that she clutched the young man’s arm, and Mary stood shivering from head to foot.
The wailing grew wilder and wilder.“What is it? What is it?” Mrs.
Lennox gasped.“Some one has died,” answered the boy officer.
“You did not say it had broken out among your servants.”“I did not know!” the Mem Sahib cried.
“Come with me! Come with me!” and she turned and ran into the house.After that appalling things happened, and the mysteriousness of the morning was explained to Mary.
The cholera had broken out in its most fatal form and people were dying like flies.
The Ayah had been taken ill in the night, and it was because she had just died that the servants had wailed in the huts.
Before the next day three other servants were dead and others had run away in terror.
There was panic on every side, and dying people in all the bungalows.During the confusion and bewilderment of the second day Mary hid herself in the nursery and was forgotten by every one.
Nobody thought of her, nobody wanted her, and strange things happened of which she knew nothing.
Mary alternately cried and slept through the hours.
She only knew that people were ill and that she heard mysterious and frightening sounds.
Once she crept into the dining-room and found it empty, though a partly finished meal was on the table and chairs and plates looked as if they had been hastily pushed back when the diners rose suddenly for some reason.
The child ate some fruit and biscuits, and being thirsty she drank a glass of wine which stood nearly filled.
It was sweet, and she did not know how strong it was.
Very soon it made her intensely drowsy, and she went back to her nursery and shut herself in again, frightened by cries she heard in the huts and by the hurrying sound of feet.
The wine made her so sleepy that she could scarcely keep her eyes open and she lay down on her bed and knew nothing more for a long time.Many things happened during the hours in which she slept so heavily, but she was not disturbed by the wails and the sound of things being carried in and out of the bungalow.When she awakened she lay and stared at the wall.
The house was perfectly still.
She had never known it to be so silent before.
She heard neither voices nor footsteps, and wondered if everybody had got well of the cholera and all the trouble was over.
She wondered also who would take care of her now her Ayah was dead.
There would be a new Ayah, and perhaps she would know some new stories.
Mary had been rather tired of the old ones.
She did not cry because her nurse had died.
She was not an affectionate child and had never cared much for any one.
The noise and hurrying about and wailing over the cholera had frightened her, and she had been angry because no one seemed to remember that she was alive.
Every one was too panic-stricken to think of a little girl no one was fond of.
When people had the cholera it seemed that they remembered nothing but themselves.
But if every one had got well again, surely some one would remember and come to look for her.But no one came, and as she lay waiting the house seemed to grow more and more silent.
She heard something rustling on the matting and when she looked down she saw a little snake gliding along and watching her with eyes like jewels.
She was not frightened, because he was a harmless little thing who would not hurt her and he seemed in a hurry to get out of the room.
He slipped under the door as she watched him.“How queer and quiet it is,” she said.
“It sounds as if there was no one in the bungalow but me and the snake.”Almost the next minute she heard footsteps in the compound, and then on the veranda.
They were men’s footsteps, and the men entered the bungalow and talked in low voices.
No one went to meet or speak to them and they seemed to open doors and look into rooms.“What desolation!” she heard one voice say.
“That pretty, pretty woman! I suppose the child, too.
I heard there was a child, though no one ever saw her.”Mary was standing in the middle of the nursery when they opened the door a few minutes later.
She looked an ugly, cross little thing and was frowning because she was beginning to be hungry and feel disgracefully neglected.
The first man who came in was a large officer she had once seen talking to her father.
He looked tired and troubled, but when he saw her he was so startled that he almost jumped back.“Barney!” he cried out.
“There is a child here! A child alone! In a place like this! Mercy on us, who is she!”“I am Mary Lennox,” the little girl said, drawing herself up stiffly.
She thought the man was very rude to call her father’s bungalow “A place like this!” “I fell asleep when every one had the cholera and I have only just wakened up.
Why does nobody come?”“It is the child no one ever saw!” exclaimed the man, turning to his companions.
“She has actually been forgotten!”“Why was I forgotten?” Mary said, stamping her foot.
“Why does nobody come?”The young man whose name was Barney looked at her very sadly.
Mary even thought she saw him wink his eyes as if to wink tears away.“Poor little kid!” he said.
“There is nobody left to come.”It was in that strange and sudden way that Mary found out that she had neither father nor mother left; that they had died and been carried away in the night, and that the few native servants who had not died also had left the house as quickly as they could get out of it, none of them even remembering that there was a Missie Sahib.
That was why the place was so quiet.
It was true that there was no one in the bungalow but herself and the little rustling snake.

From AudioFile

This beautifully produced children's classic is narrated by the talented Josephine Bailey, whose voice is musical and elegant. 
This story of two lonely children finding happiness through their mutual delight in tending a neglected garden includes much dialogue, and Bailey transitions seamlessly from one character's voice to another.
She easily distinguishes petulant Mary from fretful cousin Colin and captures the nuances of their wide-ranging, passionate emotions.
Bailey's rendition of Colin's tantrum and the cousins' reconciliation is breathtaking.
Her good-hearted Dicken, with his broad Yorkshire accent, and gruff Ben Weatherstaff are equally excellent.
There are numerous audiobook productions of this story, but Bailey's is surely one of the best.
Her sensitive reading makes every minute of this unabridged version fly.
J.C.G.
© AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Children's Books,Classics,Literature & Fiction,Literary



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Comment List (Total:16)

  •     I love the illustrations!
  •     I was disappointed in the re-telling of this story. I have read and re-read "The Secret Garden", and so much of what makes this story endearing, was taken out. Like the Yorkshire accent of Martha, and Mary learning how to talk like her. It really seemed half the book was missing. Still, for a young child to read, the language is simple. I was just disappointed that it was not the original.
  •     Although the secret garden is a classic I had never read it until now. My favorite part was when Mary found the key to the garden. The garden becomes the centerpoint for all the children's lives. The garden changes them for the better.
  •     classic must read
  •     A fantastic tale for adults and children alike. A very enjoyable read which is both simple and profound all at the same time.
  •     This is an easy to use version of the age old classic. More fun every time I teach the class!
  •     I have seen the movie many times and now know how much literally license the movie-makers can take!
  •     A much smaller copy then I thought
  •     this was a gift to my daughter, so I have no idea how the book is.
  •     I came upon this book as an adult male rapidly approaching forty. So I'm probably not in the original target audience. But I just adored this book, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. What a masterpiece it is - so many timeless lessons to be learned in its pages! Imagine letting children be children! Freely romping about in the outdoors and appreciating all the wondrous creatures and plants of the natural world. I'm an avid outdoorsman, and although I'm not religious, after reading this wonderful book I can't help but hum the Doxology when awed by the something in nature.The Yorkshire dialect might be difficult to read for some, but if you read it aloud to your young'uns (and why wouldn't you?) they'll understand it just fine. I want to hand this book out to all the parents whose cars idle at the school bus stop, because they won't let their precious "Colin" brave the half-block walk in the fresh air.
  •     I read this book many years ago and again recently as a Book Club recommendation. What a fun read full of imagery and the best kind of secrecy loved by everyone -- discovery!
  •     a delightful read, arrived on time and just what I wanted
  •     I've always loved the story of The Secret Garden. When I found out that it was in the Puffin Classics hardcover form, I had to order it. Just a quick note about the size since they appear in the same list as the Penguin Classics when doing a search, the Puffin Classics( hardcover version) are smaller in size than the Penguin hardcover Classics. You can see the dimensions listed but most, including myself, don't usually bother taking note of that. The size doesn't take away from the beauty of the book. I'm on a mission to collect all the Puffin & Penguin Classics. I was really happy to see that the Secret Garden was chosen to be part of this collection. I would love to see all the classics in the Puffin hardcover form.~
  •     People are naturally inclined to hand out the "instant classic" award to the books they like, but there are only a precious few books that can hold on to such a title for over a hundred years, (this was published in book form in 1911), and still stay fresh, engaging and appealing. This book is the source and template for so many children's lit conventions that it is hard to imagine a library without multiple copies.You can sample the book as a Kindle freebie or in some other downloadable form, since it's out of copyright and readily available. Then, and better yet, after you read it and discover its pleasures, look for a nice edition to give to each young reader you know. There are easy to read books that are shallow, and there are harder to read books with considerable depth, but this one manages to be accessible to a fairly young reader and yet still loaded with fine writing, style, character, mystery, romance, adventure and inspiration. An excellent choice.And while you're at it, take a look at Burnett's "Little Lord Fauntleroy". He's gotten a bad rap, (probably as a result of those Fauntleroy suits and haircuts that were the rage in the twenties), but he's actually smart , level headed, and shrewdly decent in unexpected ways. So go and get your Burnett on.
  •     I bought this book for my 8 year old granddaughter, as this was one of my favorite books as a child. I have read it at least once every couple of years as an adult...to get me inspired to "dig in my gardens after a long winter"...You will love the layout of this book! There are MANY charming pictures, making it a VERY good book for read aloud, as the pictures AND the story will hold a child's interest. The font is old fashioned and equally charming.All in all, this is a lovely version and I prefer it above all the others. I will buy this book again for each of the other granddaughters as they come of age...This book is a bit larger in size than the book we found at the library as kids, but it is so beautiful you won't mind the larger dimensions. This book will be a cornerstone to building a child's home library, and one to share with future generations.When I sent this book to her, I also sent a copy of the DVD of the Secret Garden, a child size gardener's tote with small hand garden tools, child-sized garden gloves, and a half dozen seed packets of old fashioned, easy to grow flowers to further inspire her to ask "for a bit of earth".
  •     This is a wonderful story!
 

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