Apr 222013
 

The Secret Garden AudioBook by Frances Hodgson Burnett: Mary Lennox is a selfish 10-year-old girl, who is born in India to wealthy British parents. She is unwanted by her mother and father, and taken care of primarily by servants, who pacify her as much as possible to keep her out of the way. Spoiled and with a temper, she is unaffectionate, angry, rude and obstinate. Cholera breaks out in the manor and kills Mary’s parents and servants. She is discovered alone but alive after the house is abandoned. She is sent to Yorkshire, England to live with her uncle, Archibald Craven.

The Secret Garden AudioBook Chapters

Chapter 1 THERE IS NO ONE LEFT
Chapter 2 MISTRESS MARY QUITE CONTRARY
Chapter 3 ACROSS THE MOOR
Chapter 4 MARTHA
Chapter 5 THE CRY IN THE CORRIDOR
Chapter 6 “THERE WAS SOME ONE CRYING–THERE WAS!”
Chapter 7 THE KEY TO THE GARDEN
Chapter 8 THE ROBIN WHO SHOWED THE WAY
Chapter 9 THE STRANGEST HOUSE ANY ONE EVER LIVED IN
Chapter 10 DICKON
Chapter 11 THE NEST OF THE MISSEL THRUSH
Chapter 12 “MIGHT I HAVE A BIT OF EARTH?”
Chapter 13 “I AM COLIN”
Chapter 14 A YOUNG RAJAH
Chapter 15 NEST BUILDING
Chapter 16 “I WON’T!” SAID MARY
Chapter 17 A TANTRUM
Chapter 18 “THA’ MUNNOT WASTE NO TIME”
Chapter 19 “IT HAS COME!”
Chapter 20 “I SHALL LIVE FOREVER–AND EVER–AND EVER!”
Chapter 21 BEN WEATHERSTAFF
Chapter 22 WHEN THE SUN WENT DOWN
Chapter 23 MAGIC
Chapter 24 “LET THEM LAUGH”
Chapter 25 THE CURTAIN
Chapter 26 “IT’S MOTHER!”
Chapter 27 IN THE GARDEN

At first, Mary is her usual self, sour, disliking the large house, the people within it, and most of all the vast stretch of moor, which seems scrubby and gray after the winter. She is told that she must stay confined to her two rooms and that nobody will bother much with her and she must amuse herself. Martha Sowerby, her good-natured maidservant, tells Mary a story of the late Mrs. Craven, and how she would spend hours in a private garden growing roses. Later, Mrs. Craven was killed by an unfortunate accident, and Mr. Craven had the garden locked and the key buried. Mary is roused by this story and starts to soften her ill manner despite herself. Soon she begins to lose her disposition and gradually comes to enjoy the company of Martha, Ben Weatherstaff the gardener, and also that of a friendly robin redbreast to whom she attaches human qualities. Her appetite increases and she finds herself getting stronger as she plays by herself on the moor. Martha’s mother buys Mary a skipping rope in order to encourage this, and she takes to it immediately. Mary’s time is occupied by wondering about the secret garden and a strange crying that can sometimes be heard around the house which the servants ignore or deny.

While exploring the gardens, Mary comes across a badger hole and finds a key belonging to the untended garden. She chances to ask Martha for garden tools, which Martha has delivered by Dickon, her twelve-year-old brother. Mary and Dickon take a liking to each other, as Dickon has a soft way with animals and a good nature. Eager to absorb his gardening knowledge, Mary unwillingly lets him into the secret of the garden, which he agrees to keep.

That night, Mary hears the crying again. She follows the noise and, to her surprise, finds a small boy her age, living in a hidden bedroom. His name is Colin and she discovers that they are cousins: he is the son of her uncle; his mother died when he was a baby, and he suffers from an unspecified problem with his spine. Mary visits every day that week, distracting him from his troubles with stories of the moor, of Dickon and his animals and of the garden. It is decided he needs fresh air and the secret garden, which Mary finally admits she has access to. Colin is put into his wheelchair and brought outside into the garden, the first time he’s been outdoors in years.

While in the garden, the children are surprised to see Ben Weatherstaff looking over the wall on a ladder. Startled and angry to find the children there in his late mistress’ (Colin’s mother’s) garden he admits he believed Colin to be a cripple. Colin stands up out of his chair to prove him wrong and finds that his legs are fine, though weak from disuse.

Colin spends every day in the garden, becoming stronger. The children conspire to keep Colin’s health a secret so he can surprise his father, who is traveling and mourning over his late wife. As Colin’s health improves, his father’s mood does as well, and he has a dream of his wife calling him into the garden that makes him immediately pack his bags and head home. He walks the outer wall in memory but hears voices inside, finds the door unlocked and is shocked to see the garden in full bloom with children in it and his son running around. The servants watch as Mr. Craven walks back to the manor, and all are stunned that Colin runs beside him.

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Sources:

video: CC Prose Audiobooks

audio: Storynory and LibriVox

transcript: Authorama

 

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