Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Secret Garden

Under the Dock Leaves - An Autumnal Evening's Dream, by Richard Doyle. Image from -- click here to view full size image

Over the last few days I have been reading Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden aloud to my seven-year-old sister. We have both been enjoying it a great deal. It has been some years since I last read The Secret Garden. As I read it again now, I see it through fresh eyes. The magic of this classic book works itself upon me in new ways.

It's strange how, as we grow older, we see the same scene in such a vastly different light. We understand certain elements of a story as we never did before, and we notice various little details that seemed insignificant before.

It is the mark of a true classic - the ability to transcend time (The Secret Garden was first published in 1911) and reach beyond a reader's age and experience . It touches the soul, it seems to reach out to something in our humanity, so that no matter what background we come from, or whether we are old or young, it moves something deep within us. And if we would glean what we can from some such book, we will be a better person as result of having read it!

The person who cannot appreciate and learn from good literature must be a fool indeed. . . however, I don't know that I have ever met with such a person. It seems to me pretty much everyone is moved by a good story well-told. :-)


emme said...

Well said!

Sadly, I can't agree with you on the "never met anyone who doesn't enjoy a good story" bit. There are too many people that go to college with me that haven't read *anything*! And they think that literature...just about a waste of time...and dumb! This includes 40-year olds, too!

Sometimes I can't believe the way this generation is turning out. ☺

Excepting such folks like you and me, of course! *giggle*


The Editrix said...

Lol! *Sigh* that is sad. . .

I can identify a little bit with what you're saying. I'm pretty much the only genuine bookworm in my immediate family - the rest of the gang enjoy reading a little bit, and most of my younger siblings like being read to (as with the sister to whom I am reading The Secret Garden). . .

There are so many books I own that I have read and loved over the years, but I don't know if anyone in my family will ever read them. Oh well, maybe one day I'll have a daughter who is a bookworm! :-)

Don't get me wrong, no-one in my family scorns or dislikes classic literature, although my brother teases me about my Jane Austen addiction. :)

I am so glad to have the internet so that I can discuss my favourite classics with other book fanatics.