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Day Three

A meme stolen from umbreons!

Day one. A song
Day two. A picture
Day three. A book/ebook/fanfic
Day four. A site
Day five. A youtube clip
Day six. A quote
Day seven. Whatever tickles your fancy

Here is the Project Gutenburg page for "The Secret Garden".

This book profoundly affected me when I was small. It's an extremely *girly* book, about growth and change and baby animals and seeecrets and love, and has some amazingly detailed passages about victorian clothing and houses and culture. I recently watched the early 90s movie version on Netflix and proceeded to yack at Ian about it all day. He had never read the book or watched the movie; this was shocking to me because, before this revelation I had just assumed that The Secret Garden was a vital and universal part of being a bookish child, like Matilda or the Hobbit.

Frances Hodgson Burnett was quite the prolific writer, but I know her best for A Little Princess and the Secret Garden. In A Little Princess, the main character is named Sara Crewe, and she's this angelic, hopefully, eternally perfect protagonist. I liked the book because her name was Sara but it just never sat right with me. (And please note, *I* am Sarah with an H so I must have known there was something off right away.)

The protagonist of The Secret Garden, however, is named Mary. In the beginning of the book, other children belittle her and chant the nursery rhyme about miss mary being contrary. She's full of grief and a certain amount of worldly knowledge entirely cossetted by being raised in a completely coddling environment of indian slaves. She's described as sullen, and hateful, and sad, and I *immediately* identified with her like CRAZY.

There's also the character of Dickon, who is this rustic slightly older boy who lives out on the moors. He rides a pony and rescues baby animals and speaks to them and basically fills Mary and her secret garden up with life and treasure and self confidence. He's completely magical and of course I've been fictionally in love with him since I was 6.

Anyway, if you enjoy girliness, and victorian children's literature (ahaha) and detailed descriptions of flowers and mysterious stuffy houses full of secrets and magical peasant boys, do give the secret garden a look.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 28th, 2009 11:39 pm (UTC)
I don't know how I haven't gotten around to reading The Secret Garden and A Little Princess. I always contemplate them in the book store (seriously like every time) but go with something else that I never read. Grr.
Sep. 28th, 2009 11:56 pm (UTC)
I love both The Secret Garden and A Little Princess, but I'm with you -- Mary is much more interesting than Sara. Her flaws give her room to grow as a character, and that makes her awesome.
Sep. 29th, 2009 12:21 am (UTC)
There are people who have neither read this book nor seen this movie? The mind, it boggles. This was my favorite book/movie in kindergarten and first grade, and I totally identified with Mary. She was a lot like me, and since I'm Mary Catherine, I also had to put up with Mary, Mary Quite Contrary (my mom and babysitter would even do it) as well as Mary Had a Little Lamb. Ugh.
Sep. 29th, 2009 02:30 am (UTC)
Some of us are boys, you see.
Sep. 29th, 2009 02:40 am (UTC)
Maybe it's just my exact age and location, but the 90's movie was fairly popular with the boys here as well. Doubt most of them read the book, though.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )