The Secret Garden | Study Guide

Frances Hodgson Burnett

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Study Guide
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The Secret Garden | Characters

Character Description
Mary Lennox Mary Lennox, a young girl who was raised in India, becomes an orphan. She is initially an ill-tempered, self-absorbed child. Through fresh air, exercise, self-help, and the magic of the secret garden, she transforms into a healthy, robust, and caring child. Read More
Colin Craven Colin Craven is a pampered but emotionally neglected 10-year-old child when Mary learns of his existence as her cousin. A sickly, self-centered, spoiled invalid, he spends his time in bed, isolated from everyone but servants. Read More
Mr. Craven Mr. Archibald Craven, a man with a hunchback, is Mary's uncle and Colin's father. An embittered man, he is grieving the sudden death of his young wife 10 years earlier. Read More
Mrs. Craven Mrs. Craven is Mr. Craven's cherished wife and Colin's mother. Read More
Mrs. Sowerby Mrs. Susan Sowerby is the mother of 12 children, including Dickon and Martha. She is both down-to-earth and spiritual, and possesses great knowledge about children and child-rearing. Read More
Ben Weatherstaff Ben Weatherstaff is an elderly gardener at Misselthwaite Manor. A taciturn man who prefers the company of a tame robin to people, he secretly tends the roses in Mrs. Craven's garden after she dies. Read More
Dickon Sowerby Dickon Sowerby is a young country lad who has an affinity for animals and nature. He befriends Mary and Colin and helps them tend the secret garden. Read More
Ayah Ayah is the servant in India who cares for Mary before dying of cholera.
Barney Barney is one of two men who enter Mary's bungalow after everyone else in it has died of cholera. He informs her of her parents' deaths.
Basil Basil Crawford meets Mary while she stays with his family before moving to her new home in England. After she rebuffs his attempts to play with her, he nicknames her Mistress Mary Quite Contrary.
Betty Butterworth Betty Butterworth is a scullery maid. Martha claims Betty has a toothache and is the source of the crying Mary hears in the house.
Captain Captain is a little fox cub that is one of Dickon's companions. Dickon found the cub after its mother had been killed.
Dr. Craven Dr. Craven is Mr. Craven's poor cousin and Colin's physician. He is a nervous, overly cautious doctor who will inherit Misselthwaite Manor if Colin dies before he does.
Mrs. Crawford Mrs. Crawford, a clergyman's wife, takes the orphaned Mary Lennox into her home before she travels to England.
Footman John is the strong footman who carries Colin down the stairs when he goes outside or to other parts of the manor.
Indian servant The Indian servant, who Mary does not know, appears and stands over Mary's bed when she awakens on the day the cholera hits her household.
Jump Jump is a tiny shaggy moor pony that is one of Dickon's companions. Dickon met the wild animal on the moor and befriended it.
Large officer The large officer is the first person who finds Mary alone in her family's bungalow in India.
Mrs. Lennox Mrs. Lennox is Mary's mother. Before her death from cholera, she spent her time going to parties and had as little to do with Mary as possible.
'Lizabeth Ellen 'Lizabeth Ellen is one of the Sowerby children who Mr. Craven meets when he stops at the Sowerby cottage before returning to the manor. He gives her a sovereign to share with her siblings.
London doctor The London doctor consults on Colin's care and has the boy's leg brace removed. He thinks Colin's illness is due to too much medicine and being given his own way too often.
Mrs. Medlock Mrs. Medlock is the housekeeper in charge of all the servants at Misselthwaite Manor. She accompanies Mary from her arrival in London to Yorkshire.
Newborn lamb The newborn lamb is one of Dickon's companions. He found the animal after its mother had been killed and nursed it back to health.
Nurse Colin's private nurse, she dislikes illness and has little tolerance for Colin's temper tantrums and poor attitude.
Nut Nut is one of two tame squirrels that are Dickon's companions.
Officer's wife The officer's wife accompanies Mary on her trip from India to England.
Mr. Pitcher Mr. Pitcher is Mr. Craven's personal servant who has been with him since Craven was a child.
Mr. Roach Mr. Roach is the head gardener, who is responsible for keeping the other gardeners away from the outdoor areas where Colin, Mary, and Dickon go.
Robin The robin has its nest in the secret garden and is tamed by Ben Weatherstaff. He becomes Mary's first friend.
Shell Shell is one of two tame squirrels that are Dickon's companions.
Soot Soot is a black rook, or crow, and is one of Dickon's companions. He nursed the bird back to health after finding it half-drowned.
Martha Sowerby Martha Sowerby, a young housemaid who tends to Mary, is Dickon's sister and Mrs. Sowerby's daughter. A common, wholesome country girl, she urges Mary to go outdoors and engage in activities that start Mary on her journey to health.
Station master The station master exchanges pleasantries with Mrs. Medlock when she and Mary arrive at Thwaite station.
Young officer The young officer is a man Mary sees talking with her mother on the verandah in India. He informs Mrs. Lennox the cholera epidemic has reached them.
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