Teacher Guide

The Secret Garden Lesson Plan

Introduction to The Secret Garden

Frances Hodgson Burnett first published her children’s novel The Secret Garden in 1911, though the novel was initially serialized and run in The American Magazine in 1910, where it was targeted at adults. Its original working title was Mistress Mary in reference to the nursery rhyme “Mistress Mary Quite Contrary.”

In the novel, she imagines a fictional story set in her former home, Maytham Hall. The novel tells the story of Mary Lennox, a young girl born to absent aristocratic parents in India during the British Raj. When her parents die of cholera, Mary is sent to live with her uncle Archibald Craven in his Yorkshire manor, where she gets wrapped up in the manor’s many secrets. Mary...

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