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The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Its working title was Mistress Mary, in reference to the English nursery rhyme Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary. It is now one of Burnett’s most popular novels, and is considered to be a classic of children’s literature.

Burnett was a practitioner of Christian Science due to the premature death of her son as well as personal illness. As a result, The Secret Garden espouses the concepts of New Thought and theosophy as well as ideas about the healing powers of the mind.

The garden is the book’s central symbol. The secret garden at Misselthwaite Manor is the site of both the near-destruction and the subsequent regeneration of a family. Using the garden motif, Burnett explores the healing power inherent in living things.

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