English-born American author Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924) had a long and productive writing career, during which she penned 55 titles, 5 of which became best-sellers and 13 of which were adapted for the stage. Although remembered primarily for her children's books, such as Little Lord Fauntleroy, A Little Princess, and The Secret Garden, Burnett also wrote for adults, including the well-received novel That Lass o' Lowrie's.
When a cholera epidemic kills Mary Lennox's family in India, she is taken to her Uncle Craven's house in the sprawling Yorkshire moors, Misselthwaite Manor. Previously angry and lonely, Mary grows calmer and gradually makes friends with her maidservant Martha Sowerby who tells her that the late Mrs Craven used to love tending to a private garden in the grounds but following her death, her Uncle Craven had locked the garden and buried the key. Mary becomes fascinated by this secret garden and one day miraculously discovers the key down a badger's hole. As she becomes accustomed to life in Yorkshire and tending to the secret garden, Mary becomes convinced that she can hear a mysterious crying sound from within the house. With the help of Martha's younger brother Dickon, Mary discovers that she has a secret young cousin Colin who has been locked away in the house for years and it is he who has been crying. Mary and Dickon take it upon themselves to nurture Colin back to health, exploring the secret garden as they do. Eventually there is a happy ending for all the children, thanks to the Secret Garden.
1 Book Of The Secret Garden Scholastic Classics
Publisher : Scholastic
Language: : English
ISBN : 9789351037255
Item Weight : 230 grms
Dimensions : 5.16 x 0.83 x 7.8 inches
Burnett was born Frances Eliza Hodgson in Manchester, England, on November 24, 1849, to Edwin and Eliza (Boond) Hodgson. She was the middle of five children. When her father died in 1865, his hardware wholesaling business collapsed, leaving the family with few financial resources. A short while later, Burnett immigrated with her siblings and her mother to rural Tennessee, where they lived with her mother's brother. Burnett was about 16 years old at the time. The only education she had received was in a dame school in England, but she had spent vast amounts of time reading and educating herself on her own. The family had little money, and Burnett's first attempt at earning an income involved running a private school, which was unsuccessful. She then decided to try to sell a story to a magazine. She had been reading stories in ladies' periodicals since she was seven years old and had learned the formula quite well. She was so good, in fact, that the editor of Godey's Lady's Book, the magazine to which she submitted the tale, questioned whether it was original. It did not seem likely that a young girl from Tennessee could write such a good story for a British women's magazine. Burnett wrote a second tale to prove her authenticity, and eventually both stories were accepted for publication. "Hearts and Diamonds" appeared in the summer of 1868, and "Miss Carruther's Engagement" was published the following year.
In 1870, Burnett and her family moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, to a house called "Vagabondia." Soon after, Burnett's mother died. At age 20, Burnett found herself in charge of the family, and she continued to write for women's magazines in order to earn an income. She published numerous stories over the next few years, as many as five or six a month. Her first long work, Vagabondia, was serialized as Dolly in Peterson's Magazine in 1873.