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The Secret Garden: The 100th Anniversary Edition with Tasha Tudor Art and Bonus Materials

The Secret Garden: The 100th Anniversary Edition with Tasha Tudor Art and Bonus Materials

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The Secret Garden: The 100th Anniversary Edition with Tasha Tudor Art and Bonus Materials

4.5/5 (239 évaluations)
338 pages
5 heures
Oct 11, 2011

Note de l'éditeur

Magical promise…

With illustrations and trivia galore, this anniversary edition of the perennial classic transcends time with all the original magic and promise of the titular garden.


Celebrate an unforgettable classic with this beautifully illustrated 100th anniversary edition.

This 100th anniversary hardcover includes Tasha Tudor’s iconic illustrations, an extended author biography, activities, and more.

When orphaned Mary Lennox comes to live at her uncle's great house on the Yorkshire Moors, she finds it full of secrets. The mansion has nearly one hundred rooms, and her uncle keeps himself locked up. And at night, she hears the sound of crying down one of the long corridors.

The gardens surrounding the large property are Mary's only escape. Then, Mary discovers a secret garden, surrounded by walls and locked with a missing key. With the help of two unexpected companions, Mary discovers a way in—and becomes determined to bring the garden back to life.

Oct 11, 2011

À propos de l'auteur

Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849–1924) was an English author and playwright best remembered for her children’s stories, including A Little Princess, The Secret Garden, and Little Lord Fauntleroy. 

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Aperçu du livre

The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Secret Garden

Frances Hodgson Burnett

Illustrated by Tasha Tudor


Chapter One

There’s No One Left

Chapter Two

Mistress Mary Quite Contrary

Chapter Three

Across the Moor

Chapter Four


Chapter Five

The Cry in the Corridor

Chapter Six

There Was Some One Crying—There Was

Chapter Seven

The Key of the Garden

Chapter Eight

The Robin Who Showed the Way

Chapter Nine

The Strangest House

Chapter Ten


Chapter Eleven

The Nest of the Missel Thrush

Chapter Twelve

Might I Have a Bit of Earth?

Chapter Thirteen

I Am Colin

Chapter Fourteen

A Young Rajah

Chapter Fifteen

Nest Building

Chapter Sixteen

I Won’t! Said Mary

Chapter Seventeen

A Tantrum

Chapter Eighteen

Tha’ Munnot Waste No Time

Chapter Nineteen

It Has Come!

Chapter Twenty

I Shall Live Forever

Chapter Twenty-one

Ben Weatherstaff

Chapter Twenty-two

When the Sun Went Down

Chapter Twenty-three


Chapter Twenty-four

Let Them Laugh

Chapter Twenty-five

The Curtain

Chapter Twenty-six

It’s Mother!

Chapter Twenty-seven

In the Garden

Enter the World of The Secret Garden

Meet Frances Hodgson Burnett

Learn to Bake Crumpets

Make Your Own Pressed Flowers

Skip Rope with Traditional Rhymes

About the Author and the Illustrator



About the Publisher

Chapter One

There’s No One Left

When 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 everyone. 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. Everyone 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 everyone 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 were 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 everyone 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.

Chapter Two

Mistress Mary Quite Contrary

Mary had liked to look at her mother from a distance and she had thought her very pretty, but as she knew very little of her she could scarcely have been expected to love her or to miss her very much when she was gone. She did not miss her at all, in fact, and as she was a self-absorbed child she gave her entire thought to herself, as she had always done. If she had been older she would no doubt have been very anxious at being left alone in the world, but she was very young, and as she had always been taken care of, she supposed she always would be. What she thought was that she would like to know if she was going to nice people, who would be polite to her and give her her own way as her Ayah and the other native servants had done.

She knew that she was not going to stay at the English clergyman’s house where she was taken at first. She did not want to stay. The English clergyman was poor and he had five children nearly all the same age and they wore shabby clothes and were always quarreling and snatching toys from each other. Mary hated their untidy bungalow and was so disagreeable to them that after the first day or two nobody would play with her. By the second day they had given her a nickname which made her furious.

It was Basil who thought of it first. Basil was a little boy with impudent blue eyes and a turned-up nose, and Mary hated him. She was playing by herself under a tree, just as she had been playing the day the cholera broke out. She was making heaps of earth and paths for a garden and Basil came and stood near to watch her. Presently he got rather interested and suddenly made a suggestion.

Why don’t you put a heap of stones there and pretend it is a rockery? he said. There in the middle, and he leaned over her to point.

Go away! cried Mary. I don’t want boys. Go away!

For a moment Basil looked angry, and then he began to tease. He was always teasing his sisters. He danced round and round her and made faces and sang and laughed.

"Mistress Mary, quite contrary,

How does your garden grow?

With silver bells, and cockle shells,

And marigolds all in a row."

He sang it until the other children heard and laughed, too; and the crosser Mary got, the more they sang Mistress Mary, quite contrary and after that as long as she stayed with them they called her Mistress Mary Quite Contrary when they spoke of her to each other, and often when they spoke to her.

You are going to be sent home, Basil said to her, at the end of the week. And we’re glad of it.

I am glad of it, too, answered Mary. Where is home?

She doesn’t know where home is! said Basil, with seven-year-old scorn. It’s England, of course. Our grandmama lives there and our sister Mabel was sent to her last year. You are not going to your grandmama. You have none. You are going to your uncle. His name is Mr. Archibald Craven.

I don’t know anything about him, snapped Mary.

I know you don’t, Basil answered. You don’t know anything. Girls never do. I heard father and mother talking about him. He lives in a great, big, desolate old house in the country and no one goes near him. He’s so cross he won’t let them, and they wouldn’t come if he would let them. He’s a hunchback, and he’s horrid.

I don’t believe you, said Mary; and she turned her back and stuck her fingers in her ears, because she would not listen any more.

But she thought over it a great deal afterward; and when Mrs. Crawford told her that night that she was going to sail away to England in a few days and go to her uncle, Mr. Archibald Craven, who lived at Misselthwaite Manor, she looked so stony and stubbornly uninterested that they did not know what to think about her. They tried to be kind to her, but she only turned her face away when Mrs. Crawford attempted to kiss her, and held herself stiffly when Mr. Crawford patted her shoulder.

She is such a plain child, Mrs. Crawford said pityingly, afterward. And her mother was such a pretty creature. She had a very pretty manner, too, and Mary has the most unattractive ways I ever saw in a child. The children call her ‘Mistress Mary Quite Contrary,’ and though it’s naughty of them, one can’t help understanding it.

Perhaps if her mother had carried her pretty face and her pretty manners oftener into the nursery Mary might have learned some pretty ways too. It is very sad, now the poor beautiful thing is gone, to remember that many people never even knew that she had a child at all.

I believe she scarcely ever looked at her, sighed Mrs. Crawford. When her Ayah was dead there was no one to give a thought to the little thing. Think of the servants running away and leaving her all alone in that deserted bungalow. Colonel McGrew said he nearly jumped out of his skin when he opened the door and found her standing by herself in the middle of the room.

Mary made the long voyage to England under the care of an officer’s wife, who was taking her children to leave them in a boarding-school. She was very much absorbed in her own little boy and girl, and was rather glad to hand the child over to the woman Mr. Archibald Craven sent to meet her, in London. The woman was his housekeeper at Misselthwaite Manor, and her name was Mrs. Medlock. She was a stout woman, with very red cheeks and sharp black eyes. She wore a very purple dress, a black silk mantle with jet fringe on it and a black bonnet with purple velvet flowers which stuck up and trembled when she moved her head. Mary did not like her at all, but as she very seldom liked people there was nothing remarkable in that; besides which it was very evident Mrs. Medlock did not think much of her.

My word! she’s a plain little piece of goods! she said. And we’d heard that her mother was a beauty. She hasn’t handed much of it down, has she, ma’am?

Perhaps she will improve as she grows older, the officer’s wife said good-naturedly. If she were not so sallow and had a nicer expression…her features are rather good. Children alter so much.

She’ll have to alter a good deal, answered Mrs. Medlock. And there’s nothing likely to improve children at Misselthwaite—if you ask me!

They thought Mary was not listening because she was standing a little apart from them at the window of the private hotel they had gone to. She was watching the passing buses and cabs and people, but she heard quite well and was made very curious about her uncle and the place he lived in. What sort of place was it, and what would he be like? What was a hunchback? She had never seen one. Perhaps there were none in India.

Since she had been living in other people’s houses and had had no Ayah, she had begun to feel lonely and to think queer thoughts which were new to her. She had begun to wonder why she had never seemed to belong to anyone even when her father and mother had been alive. Other children seemed to belong to their fathers and mothers, but she had never seemed to really be anyone’s little girl. She had had servants, and food and clothes, but no one had taken any notice of her. She did not know that this was because she was a disagreeable child; but then, of course, she did not know she was disagreeable. She often thought that other people were, but she did not know that she was so herself.

She thought Mrs. Medlock the most disagreeable person she had ever seen, with her common, highly colored face and her common fine bonnet. When the next day they set out on their journey to Yorkshire, she walked through the station to the railway carriage with her head up and trying to keep as far away from her as she could, because she did not want to seem to belong to her. It would have made her very angry to think people imagined she was her little girl.

But Mrs. Medlock was not in the least disturbed by her and her thoughts. She was the kind of woman who would stand no nonsense from young ones. At least, that is what she would have said if she had been asked. She had not wanted to go to London just when her sister Maria’s daughter was going to be married, but she had a comfortable, well paid place as housekeeper at Misselthwaite Manor and the only way in which she could keep it was to do at once what Mr. Archibald Craven told her to do. She never dared even to ask a question.

Captain Lennox and his wife died of the cholera, Mr. Craven had said in his short, cold way. Captain Lennox was my wife’s brother and I am their daughter’s guardian. The child is to be brought here. You must go to London and bring her yourself.

So she packed her small trunk and made the journey.

Mary sat in her corner of the railway carriage and looked plain and fretful. She had nothing to read or to look at, and she had folded her thin little black-gloved hands in her lap. Her black dress made her look yellower than ever, and her limp light hair straggled from under her black crêpe hat.

A more marred-looking young one I never saw in my life, Mrs. Medlock thought. (Marred is a Yorkshire word and means spoiled and pettish.) She had never seen a child who sat so still without doing anything; and at last she got tired of watching her and began to talk in a brisk, hard voice.

I suppose I may as well tell you something about where you are going to, she said. Do you know anything about your uncle?

No, said Mary.

Never heard your father and mother talk about him?

No, said Mary frowning. She frowned because she remembered that her father and mother had never talked to her about anything in particular. Certainly they had never told her things.

Humph, muttered Mrs. Medlock, staring at her queer, unresponsive little face. She did not say any more for a few moments and then she began again.

I suppose you might as well be told something—to prepare you. You are going to a queer place.

Mary said nothing at all, and Mrs. Medlock looked rather discomfited by her apparent indifference, but, after taking a breath, she went on.

Not but that it’s a grand big place in a gloomy way, and Mr. Craven’s proud of it in his way—and that’s gloomy enough, too. The house is six hundred years old and it’s on the edge of the moor, and there’s near a hundred rooms in it, though most of them’s shut up and locked. And there’s pictures and fine old furniture and things that’s been there for ages, and there’s a big park round it and gardens and trees with branches trailing to the ground—some of them.

She paused and took another breath. But there’s nothing else, she ended suddenly.

Mary had begun to listen in spite of herself. It all sounded so unlike India, and anything new rather attracted her. But she did not intend to look

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Avis des lecteurs

  • (5/5)
    Mary, a spoiled girl, is sent to live with her uncle after the death of her parents in India. Encouraged to get outside, Mary discovers a secret garden, waiting to be brought back to life. With the help of her new friend Dickon, she transforms the garden and the garden transforms everyone who enters. This is another one of my favorite books. This book describes the garden in such detail that it can help students imagine what the garden looks like. The students could write about what they would do if they found a secret garden of their own. They could also compare and contrast this book with the movie version as well.
  • (4/5)
    Fun audiobook with Fiona Hughes reading it.
  • (4/5)
    Having just re-read "Black Beauty" and being disappointed, i was nervous about revisiting this book but, thankfully, my fears were unfounded. "The Secret Garden" was as delightful as the first time I read it many, many years ago.
  • (3/5)
    There is a lot to like about this children's classic: the set-up (Mary's family is all killed off during an outbreak of cholera in India - ouch! You don't have cold-hearted openings like that so often these days, and certainly not in this genre), the characterisations, the way that Hodgson Burnett attaches her story to the landscape of the Moors, the way that good life lessons are carefully disseminated without every becoming too cloying... and yet, because the ending was so well sign-posted by the halfway stage of the book, some sections did tend towards the tedious. Add to that the generally poor treatment meted out to the underclass (the poor, the gardeners, the household staff) and you end up with a book that it's easy to like and easy to be put off by. I'm glad I read it, and I would have no difficulty in recommending it to others, but there is a part of me that thinks that this book's time has been and gone.
  • (4/5)
    The Secret Garden tells the story of Mary, a young girl of privilege growing up in India who, after her parents' death of cholera, is swept away to live in her estranged uncle's Yorkshire manor house in England. Spoiled and disagreeable, with no history of any true friendships, she must adapt to a new environment and learn to entertain herself.I'm one of probably a very few who have not previously read or seen the movie adaptation of The Secret Garden. I've had a copy of the book on my shelf for quite a while, but it wasn't until just recently that I decided to delve into an audio copy available on Hoopla, which I devoured pretty quickly while doing various work & household activities. This book is definitely a product of its era (published in 1911), but that's part of its charm. The most enjoyable aspect for me was reading about the true pleasure of the discovery of a garden and the effects that discovery can have on a child's imagination and outlook on life. Sometimes it's the simple things which can bring us such pleasure, and it's nice to be able to look at that through a child's eye.
  • (5/5)
    Why did I wait so long to read this classic? The plot of this book centers around Mary Lennox, who came to England to live with a brooding uncle who she has never met as her parents both died of Cholera. She was a most disagreeable child. While there, she discovers her most disagreeable cousin who has been told he is an invalid from birth. She also meets Dicken, a Yorkshire lad who introduces the moor to Mary and her cousin. Just delightful!
  • (5/5)
    One of my favorite childhood books, about a young girl named Mary who is sent to live with her recluse Uncle in England after her parents die in India. She befriends her spoiled cousin and a local common boy, and together they discover an abandoned garden.
  • (4/5)
    I loved this as a child and reading it as an adult was a treat. A must read.
  • (4/5)
    Now many may be surprised to learn that I never read this book as a child. I have heard of it but wan never one to read books just because everyone said they were good or that I should read them. I could be very defiant when it came to reading.I am glad that I did finally read this book. I have seen parts of the movie but never from the beginning. This is a very nice story of a girl, two boys and a secret garden. The names of the children are Mary, Dickon and Colon.Mary is quite contrary is what children from India called her when she lived there with her parents. When her parents and everyone she knew had died she was sent to live with her uncle. At first she was not happy to be in England. She is very thin and looks ill but once she starts venturing outside and getting exercise and fresh air everyone notices how she grows and changes.She meets Dickon and those two start taking care of the Secret Garden. One night Mary hears some one crying and is determined to find out who it is. She finds a boy in his room crying. This is her cousin Colon that she did not know existed. The bonds that are formed between all three children is quite remarkable and believable.
  • (4/5)
    What a sweet story this was. I can't wait to have the opportunity to sit with both my granddaughters and read this out loud with them.
  • (5/5)
    Why is this considered a young person's book? It is one of my favorites. Extremely well written and wonderful character development.
  • (5/5)
    Mary Lennox is the daughter of an English officer in India. She lives without a care in the world. Until her life is changed forever by disaster. She must live with an uncle in far off England in a large, sad and empty house. Or is it? This story is full of the imagination of childhood. The hopes and dreams and fears. It is the story of the healing ways of nature and love.
  • (5/5)
    This is a truly beautiful story of the unlocking after ten years of not only the Secret Garden, but also the inhabitants of Misslethwaite, the home to which the garden belongs. Little Mary arrives at the manor after the death of her parents. She is spoiled and selfish and has no sense of empathy or wonder. Slowly the spirit of the moor bring her back to herself and she helps to bring out the souls of all around her. This book is a wonderful reflection on friendship, wonder, hope, forgiveness, and for me most of all, the power of nature.
  • (5/5)
    This is a nice children's story of friendship and the power of friendship with others and with nature to heal the soul. Two cousins, both really orphans by emotional and physical absence of parents find each other and find new reasons to live and love. I missed this story when I was growing up so glad to finally have read it.
  • (5/5)
    A longtime favorite of mine, and now my daughters are coming to love it. The story of an orphaned girl who is sent to England to live in a huge manor house on the moors with her absentee uncle. She comes to befriend her bedridden cousing and a magical Yorkshire boy. The children find a secret garden that works its magic on all three of them and changes them forever. The "secret" aspect of the garden, which becomes a special place for the child characters away from grownups, is very appealing to chldren.
  • (5/5)
    It's SO refreshing to read a classic and have it NOT be difficult to read and/or dreadfully boring. I know I probably shouldn't say that, but there are a lot of classics out there that I've tried cracking open and I just can't force myself to continue on that journey.....

    This book, however, was fantastic! It kept me captivated from beginning to end. Wonderfully written, just the perfect amount of detail. It was so hopeful and uplifting--the perfect thing to read just as spring approaches!
  • (5/5)
    this is one of the few books I go back and re-read every few yrs.
  • (4/5)
    I read this as a child and loved it. It's a classic.
  • (5/5)
    A childhood classic!
  • (4/5)
    Was one of my favorite standard girlhood books growing up, and still is, I suppose because Mary is such a surly and sullen, unlikable girl right off the bat (the beginning of the book's great), and then oh-so-slowly develops. The also-slow-to-develop lusciousness of description reminds me of another of my favorites, albeit with a much more 2 dimensionally pure n' perfect heroine: A Little Princess.
  • (5/5)
    This charming children’s classic, written by Frances Hodgson Burnett, is worth reading as an adult, even if you read it first as a child. The story vividly and accurately portrays the emotional journey that many third-culture-kids experience, as they confront the reverse-culture-shock of repatriation.Mary Lennox is a nine-year-old, British military brat, born and raised in British Colonial India. The story begins in the midst of a cholera epidemic, which kills both of her parents. When a pair of British officers discover Mary all alone in her parents’ empty bungalow, she is quickly sent “home” to England, to live with an uncle she has never met. Although the “spoilt and sour” demeanor Mary exhibits at the start of the book is certainly in part the result of attachment issues caused by neglectful parents, it is also very clear that many of the things that trouble her about her new home are simply the result of culture shock. And, as is typical for TCKs “returning home” to their passport countries, her ignorance of local customs is perceived as willful insolence, and any mention she makes of “how things were done” in India, is perceived as boastful arrogance.It is only when she begins applying her TCK skills of “foreign” language acquisition (learning to speak the Yorkshire dialect spoken by the local people), studying the details of her new environment (learning to understand an appreciate the strange natural beauty and wildlife of the moor), and working on collaborative projects with local residents (reviving a neglected, secret garden), that she overcomes her grief, and begins to thrive in her passport culture.And the secret to her success? The “magic” of choosing to change her attitude toward the foreign land she now calls home.
  • (5/5)
    This is an illustrated version and it is a treasure. It also contains the complete story, not just an abbreviated version, which is bonus.
  • (4/5)
    Another old favorite. My mom read this to me when I was little, I read it to myself, then to my kids. This reading was aloud to my mom. My favorite part of the story has always been the locked garden, filled with beautiful fruit trees, massive climbing roses, and riotously mixed beds of flowers, all just waiting for a child, even one with no special gardening skills, to find the hidden key and bring the little paradise back to glorious life. The spoiled wealthy children, with their trials and triumphs, were of lesser interest. Still, many scenes – the British soldier finding little Mary alone and furious in her cholera decimated home; Mary exploring the great house, with its hundred closed up rooms; Mary's first entrance into the garden; Ben Weatherstaff and his robin; Dickon and his animals, etc. – are irresistibly charming and unforgettable. This reading, to my mother, who is dying of cancer and frontotemporal dementia, I did find myself annoyed towards the end by the “power of positive thinking” stuff, which suggests that illness is due to negative thoughts and a lack of gumption, but I suppose that is just part and parcel of the tendency towards general preachiness typical of children's books from this period. Still, while I'm sniping at a classic I might as well also say that I found the business of Dickon's mother, with fourteen hungry people to feed on a miniscule income, sending buckets of food to the rich kids so they could waste their meals and maintain their “invalid” charade, completely outrageous, and Colin's boring on and on about “Magic,” to be irritating. Otherwise, though, this is a lovely book, and deserves its classic status. Really. And Mom clearly enjoyed the Tasha Tudor illustrations, which are perfect.
  • (5/5)
    A very enjoyable story about a young girl with a nasty personality. Mary grows up like a little princess in India, where you treat your nannies like hired help. She is thrown into a difficult situation when her mother and all of the household die from typhoid or something like that. Mary is shipped off to her next of kin, a weird old uncle who lives in a huge mansion in England. Mary continues to act the only way she knows how, but she soon starts to become a different person after exploring the gardens and the moor. She discovers a secret garden, locked up and not talked about because it belonged to the uncle’s dead wife. She comes alive as the garden does, completely changing herself and her personality. She then discovers another secret: her cousin Colin, kept hidden away from the rest of the world because of his frail health. The two recognize a bit of themselves in the other and get along well. Colin too learns about the secret garden and helps Mary and Dickon (one of the servant’s younger brothers) to make the garden come alive again. Well-written, a classic story, has some lovely passages and great imagery. Even though it was old-fashioned, it still is a great story.  
  • (5/5)
    Over all I think "The Secret Garden" is a great book! Although it was a little long. It's a great book if you like: gardening, friendship and interesting twists to the story. I would recommend this book!
  • (5/5)
    This read was, of course, a re-read. I wore out the copy I had as a child, with its lovely illustrations by Tasha Tudor. What's interesting is what a different, but still marvelous, experience it is, reading it again almost 4 decades later. I didn't remember the beginning bit taking place in India. I could've sworn Mary visited, and brought gifts to, Martha's family's cottage. I didn't remember the ending being so abrupt.

    Oddly enough, my 'favorite' bit was learning about how to tell if trees and vines are 'wick' or dead. And that part was just as I remembered it.

    I read it now with a bit of an eye towards issues. For example, there are some racist comments - but they're made in innocent ignorance and/or by people who are not nice. Another example is that great store is set by beauty, esp. Mary's initial lack of it - but it is made plain that beauty is a sign of physical and 'spiritual' health. The third example of an issue is spiritual health and Christianity - and I love Susan's speech near the end in which she refers to the Joy-Maker" who is known by many names the world over.

    This edition does have a scholarly introduction. I have not read it nor do I plan to."
  • (4/5)
    A charming children's story, beautifully repackaged by Penguin. Mary Lennox, a 'hard, little, unloving girl', is orphaned in India, and sent home to stay in her uncle's house in Yorkshire. There she meets housemaid Martha Sowerby, a chatty, pleasant young girl from a large family, Martha's brother Dickon - and her own long-lost cousin, Colin, 'a sickly boy who believed that he was going to die'. With the help of Dickon's green fingers, Mary brings her uncle's 'secret garden' back to life, and both she and Colin learn how to be happy, lively children. The first half of the story is magical, a ghost story filled with locked rooms and walled gardens. Mary is a prickly young child, unwanted by her parents but spoiled and demanding - Mrs Hodgson Burnett calls her 'little, thin, sallow, ugly Mary', and a 'disagreeable child' - yet the reader cannot help but pity her. The second half is too full of magic and miracles for my cynical taste, but the younger, intended audience cannot fail to be enchanted. I'm only sorry I took so long to read this delightful tale, discovered after watching the 1993 adaptation with Kate Maberly - Mary could have been my childhood idol!
  • (3/5)
    Being a mother, I couldn't help but realize how much of an influence on the personality and health of a child is reflected in the care and concern of the parent(s). Reading this as an adult was quite different than reading it as a child.
  • (5/5)
    I have seen plays of the Secret Garden but never gotten around to reading the actual book. I was excited to finally, finally get around to reading this. It was a sweet and well written book that is engaging and leaves the reader feeling happy and hopeful. Mary Lennox is a spoiled and sickly child whose family died from sickness in India. Mary is suddenly transported to the cold and grey mansion of Misselthwaite Manor, to live with an Uncle she never sees and never hears anything about. Mary is mostly on her own and decides to hunt down the rumored garden that has been hidden for years. In her adventures, both inside and out, Mary hears the cries of a child and begins to unravel some of the mysteries surrounding Misselthwaite Manor. Along the way Mary gains both her health and a much less sour personality.This was a well done and engaging historical fiction classic. This book was easy to read with some light humor and many heartfelt scenes. It's one of those classics that really stands the test of time (I know cliche' but true). It was surprisingly easy to read and very engaging.The whole premise is about the transformation of two sour and sickly children into healthy happy kids; the secret garden that they find and work in is the main cause of their transformation. There are a ton of wonderful and quirky characters in here. There is some mystery as well. This is a very feel good book. You can’t help but smile as these kids learn the pleasures of making something on their own and learning how to live and have friends. This is one of the books that just makes you smile and feel good.Overall a very well done historical fiction that leaves the reader feeling happy and hopeful. The book is an easy and engaging read that really stands the test of time. I ended up enjoying it a lot and am glad to have read it. It’s a great book about growing up and friendship that I would recommend everyone read it at least once.
  • (4/5)
    As a child, I may have found this book painfully slow and boring (though I did love the movie). As an adult in a fit of nostalgia, however, I thought this was a deliciously charming read.