The Secret Garden

by

Frances Hodgson Burnett

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Mr. Archibald Craven Character Analysis

Colin's father and the owner of Misselthwaite Manor. Rumor has it that he has a hunchback, though when Mary meets him, she observes that he's actually a handsome man whose only faults are slightly crooked shoulders and an angry, brooding expression. She learns later that Mr. Craven used to be full of life and in love with his wife, Mrs. Craven, but following her untimely death, he had her favorite garden locked up and refused to see the infant Colin, as he resented Colin for living. He spends the next ten years only looking in on Colin while Colin is asleep, though he spends most of his time traveling out of the country. Mr. Craven also forces his servants to not speak of Colin or the secret garden in an attempt to not have to remember his wife's death. Inexplicably, on the day that Colin stands in the secret garden and proclaims that he's going to live forever, Mr. Craven also begins to come alive. As Colin improves over the next several months, Mr. Craven follows a similar trajectory and finally decides to return home after receiving a letter from Mrs. Sowerby. There, he cries with joy when he discovers that Colin is walking and lively like any other boy, and he is happy to see that the secret garden, his wife's pride and joy, is once again growing and alive. The novel suggests that this is the work of Magic.

Mr. Archibald Craven Quotes in The Secret Garden

The The Secret Garden quotes below are all either spoken by Mr. Archibald Craven or refer to Mr. Archibald Craven . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the HarperCollins edition of The Secret Garden published in 2010.
Chapter 23 Quotes

Colin flushed triumphantly. He had made himself believe that he was going to get well, which was really more than half the battle, if he had been aware of it. And the thought which stimulated him more than any other was this imagining what his father would look like when he saw that he had a son who was as straight and strong as other fathers' sons.

Related Characters: Colin Craven (speaker), Mary Lennox , Mr. Archibald Craven
Page Number: 294
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Secret Garden LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Secret Garden PDF

Mr. Archibald Craven Character Timeline in The Secret Garden

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Archibald Craven appears in The Secret Garden. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1 
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
At the time that Mary is sent to live with her uncle, Mr. Archibald Craven , everyone agrees that she's a sour, thin, and disagreeable child. Because she was born... (full context)
Chapter 2
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...Mary that she's going to be sent home to England to live with her uncle, Mr. Archibald Craven . He tells her that Mr. Craven is a hunchback and a horrible person. Mary... (full context)
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
...children. The officer's wife gladly hands Mary over to Mrs. Medlock, the stout housekeeper at Mr. Craven 's Misselthwaite Manor. Mary dislikes Mrs. Medlock immediately and the feeling is mutual, especially when... (full context)
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...matter whether she cares or not, which Mrs. Medlock agrees with. Mrs. Medlock says that Mr. Craven has a crooked back and wasn't happy until he married. This piques Mary's interest and... (full context)
Chapter 3
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...and lost. Mr. Pitcher tells Mrs. Medlock to take Mary straight to her room, as Mr. Craven is going to London in the morning and isn't to be disturbed. At this, Mrs.... (full context)
Chapter 4
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
...up so they can get her dressed. Though Mary is initially surprised to see that Mr. Craven ordered new clothes for her, she's glad they're not black. Martha gently coaches Mary through... (full context)
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...she'll see it again. She continues to think about the secret garden and wonders why Mr. Craven buried the key and why, if he loved Mrs. Craven, he locked the garden. Mary... (full context)
Chapter 5
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
...Mary realizes that though Ben Weatherstaff said there's no door, there must be one since Mr. Craven buried the key. (full context)
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
...the end of the day, Mary is pleasantly tired. After supper, she asks Martha why Mr. Craven hates the garden. Martha is happy to sit with Mary and talk. She instructs Mary... (full context)
Chapter 12
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
As Mary grabs her hat to go back outside, Martha says that Mr. Craven is back and wants to see her. Mary turns white as Martha explains that Mother... (full context)
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
...Martha helps her and then Mary silently follows Mrs. Medlock. Mrs. Medlock leaves Mary with Mr. Craven , who's sitting in an armchair in front of a fire. Mary notices that Mr.... (full context)
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
Mary chokes a little bit on her words, but Mr. Craven encourages her to speak. She says that she doesn't want a governess, and Mr. Craven... (full context)
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
Mr. Craven tells Mary she can go where she likes and asks if she'd like any dolls... (full context)
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
...is back in her room, she excitedly tells Martha all the good news and that Mr. Craven is nice, just miserable. She races back to the garden and discovers that Dickon is... (full context)
Chapter 13
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
...she's a ghost and introduces himself as Colin Craven. The children realize that they're related; Mr. Craven is Colin's father. Colin asks Mary to come closer so he can confirm that she's... (full context)
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
Mary remarks that everything in this house is a secret and asks if Mr. Craven comes to see him. Angrily, Colin says that his father hates him because Mrs. Craven... (full context)
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
...that they're both ten—she knows this because he was born at the same time that Mr. Craven locked the garden door and buried the key. This interests Colin, but Mary evades his... (full context)
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
...he's heard people saying he won't live for his entire life. His doctor now is Mr. Craven 's cousin, who stands to inherit Misselthwaite if Colin dies. When Mary asks if Colin... (full context)
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
...says that this is Mrs. Craven, and if she'd lived, he wouldn't be ill and Mr. Craven wouldn't hate him. Mary closes the curtain and asks why he has the curtain in... (full context)
Chapter 14
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
...Martha is talking about Magic. She then asks what's wrong with Colin. Martha explains that Mr. Craven was so upset after Mrs. Craven died, he wouldn't see baby Colin and insisted that... (full context)
Chapter 15
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...to die. Dickon suggests that Colin just wishes he'd never been born, mostly because of Mr. Craven 's neglect. (full context)
Chapter 16
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
Mary finds Martha in her room with a box of gifts from Mr. Craven . The box contains games, a writing set, and several beautifully illustrated books about gardens.... (full context)
Chapter 23
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
...the household aren't to know about it. He doesn't want people whispering and doesn't want Mr. Craven to find out until Colin can walk up to him and tell him he's well.... (full context)
Chapter 24
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
...says that Colin looks very alive, but Colin refuses to allow the doctor to tell Mr. Craven the good news. (full context)
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...have a tantrum at some point, especially if the adults keep talking about writing to Mr. Craven . He tries to eat less, but the breakfast is always so wonderful that he... (full context)
Chapter 25
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
...They note that they can't keep this up for too much longer and hope that Mr. Craven will come home soon. Then, Mary tells Colin about her rainy day poking around the... (full context)
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...an incarnation of his mother, and he slowly says that if he were his mother, Mr. Craven would like him. He admits that now, he'd like to tell his father about the... (full context)
Chapter 26
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...is because Colin looks so much like Mrs. Craven. Colin asks if this will make Mr. Craven like him, and Mrs. Sowerby assures him it will. (full context)
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...Mary and Colin to pretend that Colin is still ill. Mrs. Sowerby assures them that Mr. Craven will come home soon. They talk about visiting Mrs. Sowerby's cottage and finally, they all... (full context)
Chapter 27
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
...the same time as the secret garden is "coming alive," along with Colin and Mary, Mr. Craven is wandering around Europe as he's done for the last ten years, thinking of how... (full context)
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
Mr. Craven sleeps better that night than he has in a long time. This brief period of... (full context)
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
One evening, Mr. Craven falls asleep at the edge of a beautiful lake. He dreams that Mrs. Craven is... (full context)
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Mr. Craven arrives in Misselthwaite a few days later and realizes he's thinking often about Colin. He... (full context)
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
On the drive across the moor, Mr. Craven thinks of how calming and beautiful the moor is and vows to find the key... (full context)
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
When Mr. Craven gets to the walk by the walls covered in ivy, he walks slowly and tries... (full context)
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Mary and Colin show Mr. Craven into the garden and show him all the autumn flowers in bloom, including roses. Mr.... (full context)
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
...drinking beer with Mrs. Medlock. Mrs. Medlock wants to know if Ben's seen Colin or Mr. Craven , but Ben says only that he's seen the two together. Mrs. Medlock asks how... (full context)