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'The Secret Garden' by Frances Hodgson Burnett

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'The Secret Garden' by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Post by boatlady on Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:10 pm

My latest foray into the 19th century.
This is a book most people read when they were quite young and has the Victorian sentiment in heaps and piles, but I can sort of see why it's a classic.
This is a good time of year to be reading it, as it's about the exploration and nurturing of a garden - just at the time I'm getting back out into the open air to try growing things.
The author has various fairly compelling things to say about the development of personality and what children need to grow up strong and well.
If she was a trainee social worker, I might well have felt compelled to fail her placement, because she completely fails to comment on the gross child abuse and neglect depicted in the book, seeming to consider it simply as an aspect of the way things are.
I'm a fool for animistic philosophies, though, and her description of the 'great good thing' - god, if you like - completely captivated me, and I'll probably read this again and again.
 
Another book I've read that I found very similar in theme and topic was ' The Color Purple'  - although I feel compelled to point out there are no Sapphic passages in 'The Secret Garden'
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Re: 'The Secret Garden' by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Post by Phil Hornby on Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:35 pm

If any of you are like me and should have really been brought up in a large country house with a butler, cook, gardener and parlour maids - but actually started out sharing an uncle's Council House - then a trip through 'PG Wodehouse - A Life in Letters'   ( edited by Sophie Ratcliffe) is well worthwhile.

Reading the great man's correspondence gives so much more of a flavour to his character then any autobiography could ever have done. Those halcyon days of travelling trans-Atlantic on ocean liners and accumulating large sums of cash through simply doing what one loves must have been a life to savour - and he did! His times were not without their tribulations, however, mainly due to wartime indiscretions by getting just that bit too close to the German war machine in Paris.

Give it a whirl - the tome ends each day for me at present by sending me into slumber pondering just why I didn't have that 1930's moneyed  lifestyle to which I would have been so obviously suited...    Very Happy
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Re: 'The Secret Garden' by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Post by boatlady on Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:30 am

Thanks for he recommendation Phil - I'll definitely give it a go - I'm a PG Wodehouse fan from way back, and I suspect he must have been a very charming and amusing individual.

I do think collected letters are often more interesting and revealing than even the best biography or autobiography. I remember once reading an edition of Kenneth Williams' correspondence in tandem with a good biography of his - by the end of both books, I felt I knew him as if he was a friend and felt personally devastated by his death.
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Re: 'The Secret Garden' by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Post by Dan Fante on Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:47 am

I loved 'The Secret Garden' when I was a kid. I've still got a copy at home as it happens.
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Re: 'The Secret Garden' by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Post by oftenwrong on Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:25 pm

There was a film made of The Secret Garden but of course the mental images we form for ourselves whilst reading a favourite book are unlikely to correspond to anybody else's. For that reason I personally avoid most "Hollywood screen-versions", though they can provide a useful cribsheet for something worthy which I know I OUGHT to have read, but somehow just can't find the opportunity.
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Re: 'The Secret Garden' by Frances Hodgson Burnett

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