Dienstag, 2. August 2016

THE SECRET GARDEN by Frances Hodgson Burnett illustrated by Charles Robinson

The Secret Garden (1909) is one of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s most popular novels. The book tells the story of Mary Lennox, a spoiled, contrary, solitary child raised in India but sent to live in her uncle’s manor in Yorkshire after her parents' death. She is left to herself by her uncle, Mr. Craven, who travels often to escape the memory of his deceased wife. The only person who has time for Mary is her chambermaid, Martha. It is Martha who tells Mary about Mrs. Craven's walled garden, which has been closed and locked since her death. Mary becomes intrigued by the prospect of the forgotten garden, and her quest to find out the garden's secrets leads her to discover other secrets hidden in the manor. These discoveries combined with the unlikely friendships she makes along the way help Mary come out of her shell and find new fascination with the world around her.

It was the knob of a door

 There were trees... and a large pool with an old grey fountain in its midst

 There was a stiff, plain little girl...She wore a green 
brocade dress and held a green parrot on her finger

 A boy was sitting under a tree...playing on a rough wooden pipe

"Who are you?" he said at last. "Are you a ghost?"
"That's fresh air," she said. "Lie on your back and draw in long breaths of it."

 He would lie on the grass 'watching things growing'
 A boy burst through it at full speed


Charles Robinson was born in Islington, London, England – on 22nd October 1870.
The son of an illustrator, and the brother of famous illustrators Thomas Heath Robinson and William Heath Robinson, he spent his early education at the Highbury School of art. Robinson then went on to serve a seven-year apprenticeship at Waterlow and Sons (a lithographic printers in Finsbury). He also took art lessons in the evenings.  In 1892, Robinson won a place at the Royal Academy, but was unable to take it up due to lack of finances.
It wasn’t until the age of twenty-five that Robinson began to sell his work professionally. He quickly developed his own unique style, based on the then contemporaneous influences of Pre-Raphaelitism and Art Nouveaux. Robinson was particularly inspired by the delicate watercolours of Aubrey Beardsley, Japanese artworks, and the woodcuts of the old masters such as Albrecht Dürer.
His first full book was Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses (1895). It was commissioned by John Lane. This collection of children’s poetry first appeared in 1885 under the title Penny Whistles, but it was Robinson’s beautiful set of 100 pen and ink drawings that really brought it to fame. The book was very well-received, going through a number of print runs.
Over the rest of his life, Robinson illustrated many more fairy tales and children’s books. These included Eugene Field’s Lullaby Land (1897), W. E. Cule’s Child Voices (1899), Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué’s Sintram and His Companions (1900), Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1907), the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm (1910), Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Sect Garreden (1911), and Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince (1913). (POOK PRESS)

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