This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

"When Mary Lennox was sent to Misselthwaite Manor to live with her uncle everybody said she was the most disagreeable-looking child ever seen."

But who wants to begin with a disagreeable-looking child?

Who is going to be interested in her?

Ah, but look at that sent. Mary has been ordered away. By whom? Doesn't anyone want her? And to live with an uncle, too - not Uncle George, or Uncle Tom, just uncle. A man unknown.

There's obviously something gone very wrong, here.

Then there's that everybody said. More unknown people, that means, and none of them prepared to like this small stranger. Not only do they not like her, they have got together and made an arrangement not to like her. To dislike her more than anyone else they've ever seen.

We may not feel we'll like Mary much either, but already we have some sympathy for her. There's no one to be her friend if it isn't us, after all.

The sentence quoted above is the first of The Secret Garden.


A lot of the other sentences in the book are good, too.

And Mary isn't so very disagreeable by the end.

Word To Use Today: manor. This word comes from the Old French manoir, dwelling, from the Latin man─ôre, to remain.

1 comment:

  1. Love this book. And yes, what a brilliant first sentence.