ISBN : 9780199588220
New to this Edition:
'It was the garden that did it - and Mary and Dickon and the creatures - and the Magic.'
An orphaned girl, a grim moorland manor with hundreds of empty rooms, strange cries in the night, a walled garden, with its door locked and the key buried - and a boy who talks to animals. These are the ingredients of one of the most famous and well-loved of children's classics. Through her discovery of the secret garden, Mary Lennox is gradually transformed from a spoilt and unhappy child into a healthy, unselfish girl who in turn redeems her neglected cousin and his gloomy, Byronic father. Frances Hodgson Burnett's inspiring story of regeneration and salvation gently subverted the conventions of a century of romantic and gothic fiction for girls.
After a hundred years, The Secret Garden's critique of empire and of attitudes to childhood and gender, and its advocacy of a holistic approach to health remains remarkably contemporary and relevant.
"a jolly good, heart-warming classic." - The Daily Mail
Note on the Text
A Chronology of Frances Hodgson Burnett
THE SECRET GARDEN
Appendix: 'My Robin'
Note on the Date of the Story
In this Oxford World's Classics audio and video guide, Peter Hunt, Professor Emeritus in Children's Literature at the University of Cardiff, who was responsible for setting up the first course in children's literature in the UK, introduces the newcomer to reading critically texts written for children.
Click on the links below to hear Peter's thoughts on the field and then explore The Secret Garden in more detail.
Why has The Secret Garden remained popular for over a century? (Video on You Tube)
About The Secret Garden
Peter Hunt talks about the history of The Secret Garden [1:53]
If you look at children's books from the early nineteenth century on, are there signs of an increasing emancipation of girls? [1:25]
Peter Hunt describes Frances Hodgson Burnett's life. [2:17]
Peter Hunt discusses the literary heritage of the image of a garden. [1:29]
Is Mary Lennox a new kind of heroine, or does she have literary antecedents? [0:54]
Burnett was also influenced by earlier writers of fiction for adults... [1:11]
When did The Secret Garden begin to exert an influence on other writers, and what was it they picked up on? [1:44]
Introducing Children's Literature
Is it possible to say when children's literature as a recognizable genre started? [0:30]
"All children's books, even now, are didactic in some way."
Peter Hunt explains why. [0:56]
When, where and why did the academic study of children's books begin? [1:13]
When Peter Hunt set up the first children's literature course in the UK, what was his intention?
What advice does Peter Hunt have for someone embarking on the study of children's literature for the first time?
Do you have to learn to read in a different way?[1:35]
When studying children's books, is it important to remember that they are often first encountered by being read aloud by an adult?[1:02]
Peter Hunt reflects on the fact that the classics of children's literature have been extraordinarily productive of other texts, sequels, prequels, adaptations as well as films.
When children's books first appeared on university courses, they were regarded as non-canonical texts. Has that changed in the past forty years?
Is there now a canon of children's literature? [1:16]
Biographical and psychological criticism seems to be particularly popular in discussing children's texts.
Peter Hunt discusses this.[1:24]
Are children's books able to address an adult and a child audience simultaneously, thereby becoming vehicles for satire and social comment?[1:26]
When did a market for children's books develop?
Was that an early nineteenth-century phenomenon?[1:23]