The Secret Garden

by

Frances Hodgson Burnett

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Colin's mother; she died about the time of his birth after a tree branch in the secret garden broke, and she fell. She and Mr. Craven were madly in love, and the garden was their sanctuary. There, Mrs. Craven was a skilled gardener and carefully tended her roses. On her deathbed, she asked Ben Weatherstaff to care for the roses in her absence. After her death, Mr. Craven was consumed with grief, and to try to bury the memory of his wife, he locked her garden and buried the key. Similarly, though Colin has a portrait of her in his bedroom, he keeps it covered with a curtain most of the time, wanting to keep his beautiful mother’s smile only for himself. As Colin and Mary grow and develop and connect with the garden, they learn to see it as a place of life and nurturing, not a place of death as Mr. Craven sees it. Susan Sowerby even remarks at one point that Mrs. Craven's spirit must be in the garden. When Colin finally shares his recovery with Mr. Craven, Mr. Craven cries with happiness to see his wife's pride and joy returned to its former glory. As Colin recovers, he also removes the curtain from Mrs. Craven's portrait and decides to think of it as smiling down on him.

Mrs. Craven Quotes in The Secret Garden

The The Secret Garden quotes below are all either spoken by Mrs. Craven or refer to Mrs. 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 10 Quotes

"Do you like roses?" she said.

Ben Weatherstaff rooted up a weed and threw it aside before he answered.

"Well, yes, I do. I was learned that by a young lady I was gardener to. She had a lot in a place she was fond of, an' she loved 'em like they was children—or robins. I've seen her bend over an' kiss 'em." He dragged out another weed and scowled at it. "That were as much as ten year' ago."

Related Characters: Mary Lennox (speaker), Ben Weatherstaff (speaker), Mrs. Craven
Related Symbols: The Secret Garden, Roses
Page Number: 111
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Secret Garden LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Secret Garden PDF

Mrs. Craven Character Timeline in The Secret Garden

The timeline below shows where the character Mrs. Craven appears in The Secret Garden. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...he married. This piques Mary's interest and seeing this, Mrs. Medlock continues. She says that Mrs. Craven was beautiful, but she died. At this, Mary cries out in shock and pity and... (full context)
Chapter 4
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
Martha laughs and says if Mrs. Craven were alive, she wouldn't even be a servant—she's too "common" and speaks such broad Yorkshire... (full context)
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
...door, and says that there's one garden that's been locked up for ten years since Mrs. Craven died. She says there's a buried key somewhere. (full context)
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...secret garden and wonders why Mr. Craven buried the key and why, if he loved Mrs. Craven , he locked the garden. Mary thinks that even if she meets Mr. Craven, she'll... (full context)
Chapter 5
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
...Mary that Mr. Craven has ordered that nobody speak about the garden. Martha says that Mrs. Craven made the garden, and she and her husband were the only ones allowed in to... (full context)
Chapter 12
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...and to calm her, says that Mrs. Sowerby stopped him on the moor, said that Mrs. Craven had been a kind woman, and told him that Mary should be allowed to play... (full context)
Chapter 13
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
...Mr. Craven comes to see him. Angrily, Colin says that his father hates him because Mrs. Craven died. Mary says that he hates the garden for the same reason, but she doesn't... (full context)
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
...of a laughing girl whose eyes look just like Colin's. Colin says that this is Mrs. Craven , and if she'd lived, he wouldn't be ill and Mr. Craven wouldn't hate him.... (full context)
Chapter 14
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
...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 the weak baby would certainly die... (full context)
Chapter 21
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...Magic sent the robin so they wouldn't have to talk about the tree that killed Mrs. Craven . Dickon tells Mary that according to Mother, Mrs. Craven's spirit is in the garden... (full context)
Chapter 22
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Secrets and Independence Theme Icon
...his orders. Ben describes the kind of work he does and says that this was Mrs. Craven 's garden. Colin says that it's his garden now and orders Ben to keep the... (full context)
Chapter 23
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
...garden come to life. Flowers bloom, and Ben tells the children about the flowers that Mrs. Craven liked. The roses develop buds that eventually turn into hundreds of blossoms. Colin decides that... (full context)
Chapter 25
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...anything until he brings it up. He says that he's taken the curtain off of Mrs. Craven 's portrait because it doesn't make him angry anymore. He explains that two nights ago,... (full context)
Chapter 26
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...seems overtaken by emotion and explains that this is because Colin looks so much like Mrs. Craven . Colin asks if this will make Mr. Craven like him, and Mrs. Sowerby assures... (full context)
Healing, Growth, and Nature Theme Icon
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
Childrearing and Friendship Theme Icon
...she were his mother. Mrs. Sowerby pulls Colin into an embrace and assures him that Mrs. Craven is here, in the garden. (full context)
Chapter 27
The Power of Thought Theme Icon
...evening, Mr. Craven falls asleep at the edge of a beautiful lake. He dreams that Mrs. Craven is calling to him from the secret garden and wakes up to a brilliantly beautiful... (full context)