Born in England and transplanted to New York toward the end of the Civil War, Burnett made her home in both countries, and today both countries claim her as their own. The Secret Garden, her best-known work, became an instant modern classic and world-wide bestseller upon its publication in 1911. The text of this Norton Critical Edition is based on the first edition and is accompanied by explanatory annotations. "Backgrounds and Contexts" and "Letters" illuminate important aspects of Burnett's life and work and include her own writings on gardens and their spiritual healing. Four illustrations point to Burnett's prominence in popular culture. "Criticism" includes fourteen contemporary reviews and nine recent critical views of The Secret Garden, including Jerry Phillips's sociopolitical interpretation and Phyllis Bixler's comparative analysis of the Broadway musical adaptation of the novel. A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are also included.
Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924) was an Anglo-American playwright and author. She is best known for her children's stories, in particular The Secret Garden, A Little Princess, and Little Lord Fauntleroy. Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina is a professor of English at Dartmouth College. She is the author of Frances Hodgson Burnett, Black London, Carrington, Looking for Bijah and Lucy, and editor of The Annotated Secret Garden. She lives near Hanover, New Hampshire.