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General discussion of The Secret Garden 
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Post General discussion of The Secret Garden
General discussion of The Secret Garden

I'm curious if anyone else is listening to this book on audio book. LibriVox has the entire book available for download so I've been listening while on the exercise bike at the gym. Actually, I've listened to the book while driving too...which is rather dangerous and somewhat illegal. Shhhhh

If you're pressed for time and struggle to fit print books into your life you really should look into audio books. They tend to be much more expensive than print books, but they sure are wonderful when your life is hectic and you can't find time to sit and read.

LibriVox is great because all of their books are in the public domain, which means they're FREE! And last time I checked FREE is a fantastic deal no matter how you slice it.



Wed Dec 03, 2008 12:01 am
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General Information about Frances Hodgson Burnett

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frances_Hodgson_Burnett

Her main writing talent was combining realistic detail of working-class life with a romantic plot.

After her first son Lionel's death of consumption in 1890, Burnett delved into Spiritualism and apparently found this a great comfort in dealing with her grief (she had previously dabbled in Theosophy, and some of its concepts are worked into The Secret Garden, in which a boy who has been an invalid for a long time helps to heal himself through positive thinking and affirmations). During World War I, Burnett put her beliefs about what happens after death into writing with her novella The White People.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Secret ... (1993_film)

http://www.tickledorange.com/FHB/index.html
home

http://www.tickledorange.com/FHB/Biography.html
Biography.



Wed Dec 03, 2008 8:52 am
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Thomas, please note that I nominated you to lead this discussion and I also mentioned that you should have a free book on the string about who would lead this. Do you think you would like to?


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Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:52 pm
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GentleReader9 wrote:
Thomas, please note that I nominated you to lead this discussion . . .


I accept your nomination, GR9. (I replied earlier but my post seems to have gone missing.) The Secret Garden is a sort of late Victorian Walden, I think. I am now scanning Burnett's The White People.

Tom



Thu Dec 04, 2008 6:22 pm
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http://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_your_par ... p?id=11961
The Frances Hodgson Burnett Memorial Fountain in Central Park



Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:56 pm
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Great Maytham Hall

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Maytham_Hall

"Great Maytham Hall, near Rolvenden, Kent, England, is a Grade II* listed country house. The gardens are famous for providing the inspiration for The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett."

"The walled garden of [Maytham Hall] provided the inspiration for one of the most famous of all books for children, The Secret Garden. Its author, Frances Hodgson Burnett, lived at Great Maytham Hall from 1898 to 1907, where she found the old walled garden dating from 1721 sadly overgrown and neglected. Aided by a robin, Burnett discovered the door hidden amongst the ivy, and began the restoration of the garden, which she planted with hundreds of roses. She set up a table and chair in the gazebo, and dressed always in a white dress and large hat, she wrote a number of books in the peace and tranquility of her scented secret garden."

http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/Detai ... mode=quick
-- a picture of the enlarged Maytham Hall



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Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:21 pm
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Biographies of Frances Hodgson Burnett

There are many, including:

Frances Hodgson Burnett, by Gretchen Gerzina

Waiting for the Party, By Ann Thwaite
Google Book

Frances Hodgson Burnett: Beyond the Secret Garden,‎ By Angelica Shirley Carpenter, Jean Shirley
Google Book. For young people.

These are "limited preview" Google Books, and slow Internet access has kept me from scanning them. Nice covers, though.

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-enter ... 32883.html
-- a critical review of Gerzina's biography

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ann_Thwaite
Wikipedia stub on Ann Thwaite



Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:45 pm
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I've just finished listening to The Secret Garden on audio book and will be adding my comments soon.



Thu Dec 11, 2008 1:28 am
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A Collection of Links to Burnett Material

http://www.trinity.wa.edu.au/plduffyrc/ ... urnett.htm

Includes the SparkNotes commentary:

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/secretgarden/



Sun Dec 14, 2008 2:45 pm
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Burnett books:

Truly a productive writer.

"Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett
Female : Novelist. Involved in Christian Science, Theosophy and Spiritualism. Emigrated with her family to the USA in 1865. Married Dr Swan Burnett 1873 (divorced 1898). Married Stephen Townsend (divorced 1901)
Nationality : English Place of Birth : Cheetham Hill, Manchester

Date of Birth : 1849 Date of Death : 1924 Age : 75
1877-1880
That Lass O'Lowries : A Lancashire Story (1877 Scribner Armstrong, NY) (1877 Warne)
Dolly : A Love Story (1877 Routledge) (1893 Warne) - New Ed
Theo : A Love Story (1877 Ward Lock) (1877 Warne) - New Ed
Surly Tim & Other Stories (1877 Scribner, Armstrong NY) (1877 Ward Lock)
Our Neighbour Opposite (1878 Routledge) -ss
Lindsay's Luck (1878 Scribner) (1879 Routledge) - ss
Pretty Polly Pemberton : A Love Story (1878 Routledge)
Kathleen : A Love Story (1878 Routledge)
Miss Crespigny : A Love Story (1878 Routledge) (1878 T B Peterson, Phila)
Haworth's (1879 Macmillan) - 2 vols
Natalie & Other Stories (1879 Warne)
The Tide on the Moaning Bar, and A Quiet Life (1879 Routledge) - ss
Louisiana, and That Lass O'Lowries : A Lancashire Story (1880 Macmillan)

1881-1890
A Fair Barbarian (1881 Warne)
Through One Administration (1883 Warne) - 3 vols
Little Lord Fauntleroy (1886 Scribners NY)
Offered in 1997 for



Sun Dec 14, 2008 2:49 pm
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Burnett's Grave

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cg ... &GRid=2498

But doesn't show Lionel's statue.

http://pam_oconnell.tripod.com/burnett.txt
Commemoration of Burnett at the Manhasset Public Library, Long Island, near Burnett's home.

Son Vivian died a hero: "A longtime member of the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, he collapsed and died after rescuing the crew of a small boat that had capsized in Long Island Sound. ''He tried all his life to live down this unfair, sissified image'' -- Vivian was the model for the lace-collared, curly-locked hero of Fauntleroy -- ''and he died a hero,'' said George Graf, a former commodore of the yacht club."



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[quote="Thomas Hood

Son Vivian died a hero: "A longtime member of the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, he collapsed and died after rescuing the crew of a small boat that had capsized in Long Island Sound. ''He tried all his life to live down this unfair, sissified image'' -- Vivian was the model for the lace-collared, curly-locked hero of Fauntleroy -- ''and he died a hero,'' said George Graf, a former commodore of the yacht club."[/quote]

Not sure of a connection with Burnett's real life son Vivian, but I recall Colin's desire to keep his improvement a secret from his father until his father returned so that he could prove to him in person that he was not an invalid. For a boy, meeting or exceeding the expectations of his father can be an important aspect of developing a secure male identity. Clearly Colin wanted to his father to be amazed and to force him to re-evaluate his son, and that this reaction would contribute to his healing and development.



Sun Dec 14, 2008 6:44 pm
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giselle wrote:
Not sure of a connection with Burnett's real life son Vivian. . .


Good point, giselle. Colin may have been modeled after Burnett's son Lionel, who died in 1890 and whose statue is at the foot of her grave; and Dr. Craven's desire for wealth may have been modeled on her doctor ex, whom I think she had supported.

Tom



Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:39 pm
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I did the whole thing on audio.

It's a marvelous story. Although I did see the movie, I didn't appreciate the story until I heard it read from text.

Thomas, thanks for your moderation.

And thanks so much for Kay's reading skills.



Fri Dec 19, 2008 11:46 am
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WildCityWoman wrote:
I did the whole thing on audio.

It's a marvelous story. Although I did see the movie, I didn't appreciate the story until I heard it read from text.


Carly, stay a while. We have the whole of January to generalize on The Secret Garden. Futher discussion would be a wonderful opportunity to clarify issues that are important to members of BookTalk -- religion, atheism, superstition, magic (wicca, etc.), occult influences, spiritualism, mythology, health through Nature, the influence of Theosophy in Western philosophy and art, politics, mind cure, discrimination, class differences, feminism, affirmations, . . . . At this moment, there is discussion of the CBS Poll on Superstitution and of Donne's St. Lucy poem about alchemy, astrology, and occult influence. The Secret Garden brings all these things together. Plus, I haven't seen any of the movies, and I'd like to know about the extensions to the text make in the movies, in addition to Krishna's throat.

I am into such things as the Yi Jing, Dao De Jing, Tai Xuan Jing, feng shui, synchronicity, reading the signs, gardening, and have a special relationship with a cat who considers me to be her kitten. As I remember, you were making affirmations about an appartment building. Do you think the program of child care implied by The Secret Garden would really work?

Tom



Sun Dec 21, 2008 9:24 am
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