The Secret Garden

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Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Secret Garden is a very sweet story that I had never had a chance to read growing up as I had encountered the Hallmark Production of it first. When I was a kid, once I had watched something I had trouble getting into the book.From my memory of the production, it was pretty true to what I read just now. It IS a very sweet story, that holds up well as an adult too. But I did notice something that I probably wouldn’t have as a kid.

There’s a whole lot of speechifying about the healing benefits “magic” of fresh air and working in a garden. One would think from the book that Moorish air is the fountain of youth. They’re also obsessed with getting fat. Ilana and I broke into hilarious laughing when I read to her about how Miss Mary proudly pronounced that she is getting: “Fatter and fatter every day!” It was an interesting contrast to today’s ideas about what is “healthy.”

After sharing with her some of the speeches on the benefits of fresh air, Ilana dug a little and discovered that the author, Frances Hodgson Burnett, later in her life (around the time she was writing this book) became interested in Christian Science. This puts MANY of the mini speeches in context.

To leave off of a fun note. I really enjoyed all the Welsh speak in the book.

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