"When Mary Lennox was sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle everybody said she was the most disagreeable looking child ever seen." So begins Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic, regarded as one of the best children's books of the 20th century. The story of a spoilt, neglected and sickly young girl, who comes to the home of Mr Craven, her widowed and grieving uncle, The Secret Garden was first serialised for adults in The American Magazine before its publication in book form in 1911.
During Burnett's lifetime it was something of a secret itself, overshadowed by the success of her Little Lord Fauntleroy (1886). But now, with its timeless themes of the regenerative powers of nature and imagination, of agonising loss and a family restored, it has become her best-known work.
The Secret Garden of the title is a walled, overgrown paradise, its roses abandoned since the death of Mr Craven's wife. Mary is led to its ivy-covered door by a robin, and with the help of servant's son Dickon begins to tend it. Her petulance mellows, and the garden also helps to bring the transFormat:ion of wheelchair-bound and tantrum-throwing Colin, the son that Craven keeps hidden away - and of the uncle himself.
In this edition, beautifully illustrated by award-winning Robert Ingpen, the full and unabridged text is accompanied by hand drawings that bring the garden, and the young people it touches, back into bloom.
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