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Enchanted gardens

The idea of the secret garden can be traced back through the ages, to the lost Garden of Eden and the sacred groves of antiquity. In the early 20th century it reached a literary height with the publication of Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden. This story made a deep impression, not only on young readers but writers such as D.H. Lawrence and T.S. Eliot.

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Frances at the sundial in the grounds of Maytham Hall   Le Roman de la rose
Frances at the sundial in the grounds of Maytham Hall, Critic, March 1902
Copyright © The British Library Board
  ‘The Clothes Basket’, watercolour by Helen Allingham from The Cottage Homes of England edited by Stewart Dick, 1909.
Copyright © The British Library Board

The concept of an abandoned and long-dead garden, brought back to life in an almost magical way through the effort and simple belief of children, was taken up by many authors, with the magical element featuring ever more strongly. Here the garden is associated with the transforming power of innocence, mystical faith, nature, love, joy and positive thinking.

 
 
 
Discover more:
Introduction
Introduction
Themes
Themes
Where is paradise?
Where is paradise?
Paradise remade
Paradise remade
'All nature is a garden'
'All nature is a garden'
Private places, public spaces
Private places, public spaces
Gardens lost and found
Gardens lost and found
Enchanted gardens
Learning
Learning
Events
Events
Shop
Shop
Competitions
Competitions
E-cards
e-cards
Links
Links
   

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