THE SECRET GARDEN BY FRANCES HODGSON BURNETT // ANIMATED BOOK SUMMARY


The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Mary Lennox is an unwanted child living in India with her parents. She is unattractive and unwell, suffering emotional neglect and illness. Mary’s socialite mother leaves her daughter entirely to the care of Indian servants. Mary’s father is a British Army Officer and is gone most of the time. Noone outside the house even knows they have a child. Mary is spoiled because her mother orders the servants to give her whatever she wants to keep her quiet and out of sight. This taught Mary to treat others very badly and she cares about no one but herself. When there is an outbreak of cholera Mary hides in her room and soon she is the only person left alive in the house. British soldiers rescue Mary and she is sent to Yorkshire, England to live with her widower uncle, Archibald Craven, at Misselthwaite Manor. Mary takes an instant dislike to the manor’s servants and the feeling is mutual. As in India Mary is again closed up in a room and told not to explore the house. But one servant named Martha talks about her young brother Dickon who loves animals. Martha says there’s a walled garden on The grounds that belonged to Mistress Craven. When she died ten years ago the master locked the garden door and buried the key. Mary looks for the garden and makes two friends: a singing Robin in a tree and an old gardener named Ben. Mary asks him about the secret garden but he won’t answer. For several weeks Mary spends time outdoors and regains her health. She learns that Mrs. Craven died after falling out of a tree in the garden and begins to feel pity for her uncle. More than once Mary believe she hears a child crying in the house but the servants insist they hear nothing. Mary follows a high stone wall covered with ivy around the grounds but can’t find a door. The robin flies down and lands on the little mound of earth where Mary finds a long-buried key. Martha’s mother sends a skipping rope as a gift for Mary. As she is skipping down the path accompanied by the Robin the wind moves the ivy on the wall and reveals a door. Mary uses her key and walks into the secret garden. It is early spring and the garden appears dead and dry. Mary hopes it will come back to life and begins weeding and cleaning it.That night Mary again hears the crying inside the house and the servants again deny hearing anything. Mary goes into the woods and finds a boy playing a wooden pipe surrounded by animals who are charmed by the music. He is Dickon Sowerby, Martha’s young brother, and he has brought Mary seeds and a gardening tool. The robin joins them and Mary takes dick into the secret garden. He says many of the plans are still alive and perhaps someone has been tending at all these years. Master Craven returns to the manor and apologizes for not having met Mary before now. She asks for a bit of Earth for gardening which reminds him of his late wife. He tells her that she may have any place on the grounds. Mary wakes to the sound of a child crying. This time she finds a thin pale boy crying and screaming on a bed. He is Colin Craven, Master Craven’s son, also 10 years old. He is sickly and never spoken of. The two neglected children become friends. Colin is afraid he will die because his doctor is also his father’s brother, so the doctor has no reason to keep Colin alive. The doctor will inherit the manor if Colin is dead. Mary tells him about the secret garden and Colin shows her a portrait behind a rose-colored curtain. It is a smiling beautiful woman – his mother, Mistress Craven When mary returns to the secret garden, plants are beginning to grow and the robin is building a nest. Dickon is there with some pet wild animals. She learns that everyone knows about Colin but is forbidden to speak of him. Dickon and Mary resolve to find a way to bring Colin to the garden. Colin and Mary argue. Collin screams in a violent tantrum and insists he is going to die, but Mary stands up to him. Dickon arrives and brings some of his animals to Colin’s room — squirrels, a fox, a crow. They make plans to take Colin to visit the secret garden. A footman carries Colin outside to his wheelchair. He looks and feels more alive, especially in the garden. He feels sad on seeing the tree from which his mother fell to her death, but the children feel his mother’s presence remains in her garden and it is she who has brought the three of them together. But Ben, the gardener, catches them and calls Colin a “poor cripple”. Angered, Colin stands for the first time and confronts Ben. Ben says he has been coming to the garden once a year since Mistress Craven died, for she asked him to care for it if anything happened to her. Colin declares that the secret garden is now his and plants a single rose to claim it. Colin rapidly becomes stronger and begins to resemble his mother. He hopes this means his father will accept him. In the garden, the robin and his mate have a nest of eggs in the tree. Master Craven, traveling abroad, dreams of his wife asking him to meet her in their garden. He goes home to find his son, Colin, strong and happy in the garden with his friends — a garden that is no longer secret.

11 thoughts on “THE SECRET GARDEN BY FRANCES HODGSON BURNETT // ANIMATED BOOK SUMMARY

  1. I have to write a book review and left it too late so I’m only in the beginning of the book, this video really helped so thank you!

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