Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

December Books 1) The Secret Garden, by Francis Hodgson Burnett

I had never read this children's classic (nor have I read Burnett's other well-known works, Little Lord Fauntleroy and A Little Princess), but like a lot of people who watched mid-70s kids shows on the BBC I have tremendously fond memories of the 1975 TV version, in which Mr Craven was played by John Woodnutt, aka the Draconian emperor / Broton the Zygon leader, and the three main child characters were played by actors who have since disappeared (though one of them is active in local drama in New Mexico).

I do remember starting to read it as a child, and being deterred by the grim first couple of chapters, where Mary's parents die and she is sent to her uncle's isolated Yorkshire home where she is insufferably unpleasant. I wish I had kept going. It is a lovely story of psychological and physical healing through close encounters with the regenerative forces of the natural world and also, y'know, just being nice to people.

The wind must have been worse than I realised today, because I found I had something in my eye a couple of times as I read the last chapters. Perhaps the plotline of a disabled child whose condition markedly improves resonates more with me these days than it would have thirty-four years ago.
Tags: bookblog 2009
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