Set in Yorkshire, and first published in 1911, this is the story of two spoilt and lonely children who regain happiness by restoring a neglected garden. It was inspired by the rose garden in Great Maytham Hall, Kent, where the author lived for several years, and is illustrated by Charles Robinson.
This story of two spoilt and lonely children, whose happiness is regained as they bring to life a neglected garden, has become the best-loved of all Mrs. Burnett's books, but it did not acquire universal popularity until long after its first publication in 1911 Although set in Yorkshire, it was inspired by the rose garden at Great Maytham Hall in Kent (which still flourishes) where its much-travelled author lived from 1898 to 1907. The story has many illustrators, bur none has surpassed Charles Robinson who first created in his pictures the romantic and mysterious atmosphere of Misselthwaite Manor and the locked, forgotten garden.
One of the great children's books for all ages. The discovery of a neglected garden is the key that unlocks the future and friendship of two hitherto lonely children: Mary, who is recently orphaned, and Colin, her guardian's invalid son. (Kirkus UK)
In this bad version of a bad idea, the richly developed classic novel has been squeezed into the picture-book format. Resembling the bald summary of an opera plot, the story in its reduced state is all but a cliche: An orphaned girl finds a neglected garden and a neglected cousin and restores them both with the aid of the housemaid's young brother. Collier's full-color paintings take advantage of the opportunities for flora and fauna as the garden responds to cultivation and to the turning seasons, but the children's figures seem pasted into the space, and the scenes lack warmth. (Kirkus Reviews)
Runner-up for The BBC Big Read Top 100 2003
Short-listed for BBC Big Read Top 100 2003
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