Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2013

Project Advisor(s)

Thomas Recchio, Anne Berthelot,Tamarah Kohanski

University Scholar Major



I re-situate Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden (1911) within the context of the 19th-century Medieval Revival. Typically cast as an Eden allegory, Burnett's "secret garden" employs myth, folklore, and medieval romance quest narratives, and taps into the 19th-century mythicizing of the British landscape to explore contemporary questions about belief and social order. By complicating current readings of The Secret Garden, this paper interrogates the simplistic mold within which Burnett as an author has often been cast. It likewise calls attention to the varied impact of the Medieval Revival on different genres. This generic mutation exemplified by The Secret Garden calls to mind other pre-World War I fictions that situate contemporary anxieties within a timeless, legendary British landscape.