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The Secret Garden Paperback – 1 Jan 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 132 pages
  • Publisher: (1 Jan 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1420922297
  • ISBN-13: 978-1420922295
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 0.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,323,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Frances Hodgson Burnett was born in Manchester in 1849, the eldest daughter of a family which emigrated to America in 1865 after the father's death. Interested in making up stories from her childhood, Frances turned to writing professionally when the family's fortunes continued to decline in post-Civil-War Tennessee. She first won popular and critical success with her novel That Lass O' Lowries (1876-7), and consolidated it with a series of popular novels and plays. Little Lord Fauntleroy (1886) was the most successful in her own lifetime, but she is probably most admired today for her children's classics A Little Princess (1905) and The Secret Garden (1911). Two unhappy marriages marred Mrs Hodgson Burnett's private life but she became an American citizen in 1905 and settled in Long Island until her death in 1924.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Mistress Mary is quite contrary until she helps her garden grow. Along the way, she manages to cure her sickly cousin Colin, who is every bit as truculent as she. These two are sullen little peas in a pod, cooped up in a gloomy old manor on the Yorkshire moors, until a locked-up garden captures their imaginations and puts the blush of a wild rose in their cheeks; "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 roses which were so thick, that they matted together.... 'No wonder it is still,' Mary whispered. 'I am the first person who has spoken here for ten years.'" As new life sprouts from the earth, Mary and Colin's sour natures begin to sweeten. For anyone who has ever felt afraid to live and love, The Secret Garden's portrayal of reawakening spirits will thrill and rejuvenate. Frances Hodgson Burnett creates characters so strong and distinct, young readers continue to identify with them even 85 years after they were conceived. (Ages 9 to 12) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett is a wonderful story that I could think myself into, given that the heroine is the sort of awkward little girl that I thought I was. I loved the idea of a secret place where children could be on their own" (Nina Bawden)

"The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett is my "current" favourite children's book. I reread it to my six-year-old daughter last summer and both of us loved it -although she did require me to have a go at the full Yorkshire accent for Dickon, which proved a little bit tricky. It has magic, darkness, whimsy and truth and the fact that it was first published in 1909 yet still managed to enthral my 21stcentury daughter is a testament to its greatness" (Kirsty Young)

"Mary is a tough feisty character, who manages to turn a whole household, and the lives of those in it, completely upside down... The book is brim full of magic and joy" (Sunday Telegraph) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 49 people found the following review helpful By kettlecharlie VINE VOICE on 21 July 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Oh yes, you may laugh at the title of this review, or snigger or deride
but The Secret Garden is an amazing book. It is a model of construction and language, character (both of children and adults), behaviour, suspense and humour. Of course, it is about a time which, although just 100 years ago, is as far from us today as the Grecian Wars. But the author gives us a picture of a time without computers and mobile phones when a garden was a place to be simply enjoyed not forgotten in a rush for something ever more popular and a time when being active was a way of life. As you may gather I enjoy this book every time I read it and although it was meant for children of that time, it reverberates for modern day adults too.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Seliin on 24 Jan 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book will bring nothing but a smile to the face of the reader. It is an incredibly well-written story that captivates one to the fullest. The characters are so well-described that you get a very clear and vivid picture of who they are and of course the surroundings. The author masterfully paints such a wonderful picture of the spring, the world waking up from its deep sleep, the blooming trees, the singing birds and the flowers. With spring the garden comes to life and with it, melts the ice from the hearts of the little Mistress and the little Rajah.
The story itself is an incredibly beautiful tale of a little girl, who has been cast aside by her own mother since the day of her birth, left to be raised by the help. Always lonely, unwanted, forgotten and incredibly spoiled the girl takes a long journey to learning how to appreciate the simple beauties in life, such as the sun, the flowers, the birds and the spring. She makes friends and learns to care for others.
An incredibly beautiful story which will warm your heart. Get this book and enjoy it !!!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By ELH Browning VINE VOICE on 15 Sep 2007
Format: Hardcover
As a child this was one of my favourite books, read and re-read until my copy was beyond repair. The up-lifting story of a grumpy spoilt little girl sent from India to live at a big but lonely old manor in the English Countryside is a classic and deservedly so. Mary Lennox mellows as her friendships develop especially that with Dickon, a down-to-earth and good-hearted country boy, and Colin, Mary's indulged and sickly cousin hidden away in the depths of the old house, who also comes to find happiness.
The story is intelligently written with three-dimensional characters, the speech of the servants is presented with their dialect/accents in tact, and the children behave as real children would. Written in the early twentieth century, there's much to provoke discussion with today's children about how children lived and were treated a hundred years ago, the different lives and expectations of the servants and their families to those to the manor born, as well as those in Colonial India.
I was thrilled to come across this beautifully illustrated edition (in an approximately A4 format) with gorgeous timeless pictures which reflect perfectly the mood of the story and the era in which it was set. They also serve to make the book look attractive and appealing to the children of this generation. There's a picture on the majority of double page spreads, a mixture of black and white line drawings and a naturalists pictures of fauna and flora interspersed with ethereal misty full-colour illustrations that really pull you into a different world, that of the secret garden.
A book to truly treasure. Please please can we have Hodgson Burnett's The Little Princess equally beautifully illustrated next too?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By FJ Charsley on 24 Dec 2009
Format: Hardcover
I thought the book would be closer to the original. I am a teacher of 8 to 9-year-old girls, and I always read books to my class, to expose them to classics and ignite an interest in books. I have tried in the past to read the original Secret Garden story to them, but found the language too old-fashioned and the Yorkshire speech too confusing for the children. So I was VERY excited to discover a modernised version of the book, which I'd hoped was exactly the same as the original, with the text modernised, as has happened with many of Enid Blyton's stories. But, unfortunately, the book has also been abridged, and has therefore lost some of its charm and depth.
What a pity!
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By M. G. Gilbert on 5 July 2007
Format: Paperback
We bought this lovely story for my daughter, after being fed up with the constant diet of Captain Underpants et al, that she always seemed to bring home from school. The idea was that I would read some classic literature to her each day before she went to bed. The first chapters brought forth constant grumbles and complaints (they are rather boring), but once the story got going, my daughter and I were hooked. She absolutely loved it and listened in rapt attention to every word. I don't know why the story is so magical, but somehow, it certainly is.

Unusually, the central character changes from one character to another, quite an interesting concept that actually works seamlessly, without the reader actually realising that the focus has changed.

As the garden works it's charm on the children, they slowly change from their normal selfish demeanor to care for one another and share in each other's joy.

A really lovely story. After we had finished, my daughter wanted more of the same. Captain Underpants was thankfully, relegated.
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