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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $13.50
  • January 2006
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-92635-4
  • 472 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

The Secret Garden

Norton Critical Editions


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Frances Hodgson Burnett (Author), Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina (Editor, Dartmouth College)


Frances Hodgson Burnett was the highest paid and most widely read woman writer of her time, publishing more than fifty novels and thirteen plays.

Born in England and transplanted to New York toward the end of the Civil War, Burnett made her home in both countries, and today both countries claim her as their own. The Secret Garden, her best-known work, became an instant modern classic and world-wide bestseller upon its publication in 1911. The text of this Norton Critical Edition is based on the first edition and is accompanied by explanatory annotations.

"Backgrounds and Contexts" and "Letters" illuminate important aspects of Burnett’s life and work and include her own writings on gardens and their spiritual healing. Four illustrations point to Burnett’s prominence in popular culture.

"Criticism" includes fourteen contemporary reviews and nine recent critical views of The Secret Garden, including Jerry Phillips’s sociopolitical interpretation and Phyllis Bixler’s comparative analysis of the Broadway musical adaptation of the novel.

A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are also included.




    The Text of The Secret Garden

    Background and Contexts


    1. The American Magazine – First episode of The Secret Garden (October 1910)
    2. The Critic – Frances Hodgson Burnett (December 17, 1881)
    3. Sunday World – Frances Hodgson Burnett (Caricature, 1906?)
    4. The Secret Garden manuscript – Holograph page
    5. Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina – From Frances Hodgson Burnett: The Unexpected
    6. Life of the Author of The Secret Garden
    7. Gretchen V. Rector – Digging in the Garden: The Manuscript of The Secret Garden
    8. by Frances Hodgson Burnett
      1. Frances Hodgson Burnett – My Robin
      2. Frances Hodgson Burnett – In the Garden


    1. Vivian Burnett to Frances Hodgson Burnett (April 10, 1911)
    2. Frances Hodgson Burnett to Vivian Burnett (April 16, 1911)
    3. Frances Hodgson Burnett to Vivian Burnett (April 20, 1910)
    4. Frances Hodgson Burnett to Elizabeth Jordan (no date)
    5. Frances Hodgson Burnett – From A Far, Fair Country


    1. R.H. Stoddard – Frances Hodgson Burnett (1881)
    2. Anonymous – Authors at Work—III (1889)
    3. Anonymous – The Boston Mind Cure (1885)
    4. Anonymous – [title missing] (1889)
    5. Frances Hodgson Burnett – Mrs. Burnett Protests (1889)
    6. Anonymous – Mrs. Burnett’s Timely Protest (1889)
    7. Charlotte Harwood – Mrs. Frances Hodgson Burnett at Home: A Visit to Maytham Hall, Rolvenden, Kent (1902)
    8. Pendennis – Mrs. Frances Hodgson Burnett Finds a New Field for Her Pen (1906)
    9. Anonymous – [title missing] (1907)
    10. Louis V. DeFoe – A New Thought Mixed with Fantasy Is Served in Guise of Melodrama (1909)
    11. Frances Hodgson Burnett – Mrs. Burnett Not a Christian Scientist (1909)
    12. Magda Frances West – ‘There Is no Devil,’ Asserts Mrs. Frances Hodgson Burnett (1910)
    13. Anonymous – Social Sets of Other Cities (1910)
    14. Anonymous – Society Outside the Capital (1910)
    15. Anonymous – Mrs. Burnett and the Occult (1913)
    16. Frances Hodgson Burnett – The Magic in Children’s Books (1920)



    1. Anonymous – From New York Literary Notes (1911)
    2. Anonymous – The New Books (1911)
    3. Anonymous – From A Guide to New Books (1911)
    4. Anonymous – From The Way of Letters (1911)
    5. R.A. Whay – Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden (1911)
    6. Anonymous – The Secret Garden. By Frances Hodgson Burnett. (1911)
    7. Anonymous – Reviews of New Books. Fifty of the Season’s Best Books for Children (1911)
    8. Anonymous – One Hundred Christmas Books (1911)
    9. Anonymous – [title missing] (1911)
    10. Anonymous – [title missing] (1911)
    11. Anonymous – From The Bookman Christmas (1911)
    12. Anonymous – From Among the Authors (1912)
    13. Anonymous – From The Way of Letters (1912)
    14. Anonymous – From Among the Authors (1913)


    1. Anne Lundin – The Critical and Commerical Reception of The Secret Garden, 1911—2004
    2. Phyllis Bixler – Gardens, Houses, and Nuturant Power in The Secret Garden
    3. Gilliam Adams – Secrets and Healing Magic in The Secret Garden
    4. Christine Wilkie – Digging Up The Secret Garden: Noble Innocents or Little Savages?
    5. Shirley Foster and Judy Simons – Frances Hodgson Burnett: The Secret Garden
    6. Jerry Phillips – The Mem Sahib, the Worthy, the Rajah and His Minions: Some
    7. Reflections on the Class Politics of The Secret Garden


    1. Margaret Mackey – Strip Mines in the Garden: Old Stories, New Formats, and the Challenge of Change
    2. Sally Sims Stokes – Noel Streatfeild’s Secret Gardens
    3. Phyllis Bixler – The Secret Garden “Misread”: The Broadway Musical as Creative Interpretation

    Frances Hodgson Burnett: A Chronology

    Selected Bibliography