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Tuesday, January 27, 2009


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Martha B.


I must pull this book out again..time to reread it.

Didn't Tasha Tudor recently pass away? I agree with you about her illustrations... I've never been a big fan of them. But her house and garden...I'll take them both! :)

Martha B.


It is such a wonderful book and I don't think you can read it too many times. I'm sure it will be completely different from the parental point of view!

I'm enjoying discovering some of Burnett's other titles; the link I made to "The Shuttle" offers some fascinating info.

(And, yes, Tasha Tudor did just die).

Pam/Digging (Austin)

I think every gardener must treasure this book, whether read in childhood or adulthood. I'd love to see the illustrated editions you mentioned. I do like the Holland film version too though.


I never read it until I was an adult — don't know how I missed it until then. I read it all over again when I got the newly illustrated version.

Sarah Osborne

I downloaded _The Shuttle_ from Project Gutenberg without knowing anything about it a few months back. I hadn't gotten around to reading it, and learning that it's 500 pages long makes me a little intimidated to attempt on a computer screen! (I read _Villette_ that way - never again). I'll add it to my library list.

_The Secret Garden_ was the first "big novel" I ever read as a child, and I am so glad that it was my "first." I learned right away that good novels do not necessarily have likable main characters, and also that knowing someone's history has a way of making them more sympathetic (e.g. Mary, Colin). I think it's an excellent lesson for kids to absorb - Dicken's presence keeps kids reading, until enough sympathy has built up for Colin and Mary to be likable too. SUCH clever character development, without ever being preachy.

According to the most recent Farmer's Almanac, as a Libra I'm supposed to be a hands-off gardener who doesn't like getting dirty (Ha!), so maybe I can credit TSG with helping me see the wonder (and health benefits) in touching dirt as well?


I downloaded one of Burnett's books last summer. I read "The Head of the House of Coombe," which I found in a used bookstore and did not realize was the first book in a 2-part story. So I downloaded the second book. Not the most attractive way of reading a book but it definitely worked.

"The Shuttle" is just terrific. I first read it last winter and have reread it already during the past year. Just dipped into it again at New Years. If you click on the link, it takes you to the Persephone site and you can read the intro which is an excellent essay.

Just a Plane Ride Away

Oh, what a wonderful post! "The Secret Garden" is one of my very favourite books. I am extremely excited to learn of Inga Moore's illustrated edition. I recently read Burnett's "The Making of a Marchioness." Have you read that one? And thank you for telling us of "The Shuttle"! Persaphone Books is one of my new-found joys, so I will be happy to find an excuse to give them more business.


I got waylaid by another book midway through "Marchioness" and want to start over. I have temporarily given up ordering books from Persephone because they are fairly expensive to send to the U.S but I think their choices are so interesting. I had never known about any of Burnett's books for adults until I discovered Persephone. And I love the design with the pattern inside the cover on the endpapers — actually another "secret garden."


My daughters haven't read this and I've not read it for many years. Time to re-visit I think. I'm fascinated by the whole idea of walled gardens in literature. I think there may be a walled garden in My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier if memory serves me right. I enjoyed this post.


Nicola — It's been so many years since I've read My Cousin Rachel! Now you've got me curious.

Sarah Laurence

What a fascinating story behind the Secret Garden. You told it so well, and I love seeing the photos and illustrations. I agree that the children should remain children in the garden. Discovering that book had the same joy as finding a secret garden.


I think you've captured the reason adults like the book and are stilll drawn to reading it — because it has "the same joy as finding a secret garden." The Inga Moore illustrations are just magical.

Flower  Shop Donegal

Brillant wee post
The Secret Garden is one of my very favourite books.

Aanee xxxx

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