These delightful Alderney stamps celebrate the publication of one of
Frances Hodgson Burnett’s best-known works, The Secret Garden, and
depict illustrations taken from the original novel.
Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924) was born
in Cheetham Hill, Manchester. Her family moved to Tennessee, USA, when she was
aged 15. She began her writing career aged 19 to help supplement the family
income. Following great success as a novelist, Hodgson Burnett began to travel
to England frequently and in the 1890s she lived at Great Maytham Hall in Kent,
a home she cherished, which is thought to have inspired The Secret Garden.
At Maytham, Burnett created an outdoor study where she wrote each morning in
the company of a robin that grew tame - the inspiration for Mary Lennox’s robin
in The Secret Garden.
One of the book’s protagonists is
ten-year-old Mary Lennox, who evolves from a spoiled creature to a girl who is
full of spirit and surrounded by friends. Sent to live with her uncle Mr.
Craven in his English manor, Mary is told about a secret garden in the large
house before she discovers it herself. With twelve-year-old Dickon, they help
Colin, Mr Craven’s disagreeable young son, to recover from bad health while
keeping their secret from the adults surrounding them.
Hodgson Burnett’s coming-of-age novel The
Secret Garden is widely considered to be her masterpiece. We are delighted to
celebrate its success and popularity over 100 years after it was first
published in book form.