Interesting facts about The Secret Garden
A rose by any other name…
The Secret Garden was originally going to be called Mistress Mary after the English nursery rhyme which features in the story:
Mistress Mary, quite contrary.
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And marigolds all in a row.
A Great Place…
Great Maytham Hall in Kent, England – where Frances Hodgson Burnett lived for many years – is often said to be the inspiration for Misselthwaite Manor, the grand house where Mary is sent to live in the novel.
The author herself kept a large garden in the grounds of Mathan Hall, including a rose garden which is believed to have inspired the secret garden at Misselthwaite.
A different start…
The Secret Garden was first published in The American Magazine in 1910 (100 hundred years ago!). It was originally aimed at adults instead of children and was serialised, meaning the story was told over several editions of the magazine.
In 1911 the novel was published as one whole story in both New York and London, ensuring it was read all over America and Britain. This time it was seen more as a book for children. The image opposite shows the original book cover from 1911.
A Spiritual Tale…
Frances Hodgson Burnett was a practitioner of Christian Science. This religion was founded by Mary Baker Eddy (seen in image) in 1866. People who practice this religion believe that you can cure illnesses by banishing the negative thoughts and beliefs. The author explores the idea of the mind’s healing powers in The Secret Garden.