He had reached the age when it was safe to apply to him that vague term "elderly," and marriage might have been regarded as imperative. But he had remained unmarried and seemed to consider his abstinence entirely his own affair.
Courts and capitals knew him, and his opportunities were such as gave him all ease as an onlooker. He saw closely those who sat with knit brows and cautiously hovering hand at the great chess-board which is formed by the map of Europe.
As a statesman or a diplomat he would have gone far, but he had been too much occupied with Life as an entertainment, too self-indulgent for work of any order. Having, however, been born with a certain type of brain, it observed and recorded in spite of him, thereby adding flavour and interest to existence. But that was all.
Texture and colour gave him almost abnormal pleasure. For this reason, perhaps, he was the most perfectly dressed man in London.
Mary Lennox has grown up in India, surrounded by colour and life, and people who always do exactly what she wants. When her parents die, she is sent to her uncle's cold and lonely manor on the Yorkshire moors. There she finds the house and the gardens full of secrets. And unearthing them might just lead to the greatest discovery of all.
The classic tale about the healing powers of friendship and nature in a stunning new edition.
This 100th anniversary hardcover includes Tasha Tudor’s iconic illustrations, an extended author biography, activities, and more.
When orphaned Mary Lennox comes to live at her uncle's great house on the Yorkshire Moors, she finds it full of secrets. The mansion has nearly one hundred rooms, and her uncle keeps himself locked up. And at night, she hears the sound of crying down one of the long corridors.
The gardens surrounding the large property are Mary's only escape. Then, Mary discovers a secret garden, surrounded by walls and locked with a missing key. With the help of two unexpected companions, Mary discovers a way in—and becomes determined to bring the garden back to life.
“Whatever comes," she said, "cannot alter one thing. If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside”
A Little Princess tells the story of Sara Crewe, beloved daughter of the revered Captain Crewe. Sent to board at Miss Minchin's Select Seminary for Young Ladies, Sara is devastated when her adored father dies. Suddenly penniless, Sara is banished to an attic room where she is starved, abused, and forced to work as a servant. How this exceptionally intelligent girl uses the only resources available to her, imagination and friendship, to overcome her situation and change her fortunes is at the centre of this enduring classic.
First published in 1905, ‘A Little Princess’ is a heart-warming tale of hope, hardship and love set against a backdrop of Victorian England, and is one of the best-loved stories in all of children’s literature.
Her father had held a position under the English Government and had always been busy and ill himself, and her mother had been a great beauty who cared only to go to parties and amuse herself with gay people. She had not wanted a little girl at all, and when Mary was born she handed her over to the care of an Ayah, who was made to understand that if she wished to please the Mem Sahib she must keep the child out of sight as much as possible.
So when she was a sickly, fretful, ugly little baby she was kept out of the way, and when she became a sickly, fretful, toddling thing she was kept out of the way also. She never remembered seeing familiarly anything but the dark faces of her Ayah and the other native servants, and as they always obeyed her and gave her her own way in everything, because the Mem Sahib would be angry if she was disturbed by her crying, by the time she was six years old she was as tyrannical and selfish a little pig as ever lived. The young English governess who came to teach her to read and write disliked her so much that she gave up her place in three months, and when other governesses came to try to fill it they always went away in a shorter time than the first one. So if Mary had not chosen to really want to know how to read books she would never have learned her letters at all.
One frightfully hot morning, when she was about nine years old, she awakened feeling very cross, and she became crosser still when she saw that the servant who stood by her bedside was not her Ayah.
"Why did you come?" she said to the strange woman. "I will not let you stay. Send my Ayah to me."
The woman looked frightened, but she only stammered that the Ayah could not come and when Mary threw herself into a passion and beat and kicked her, she looked only more frightened and repeated that it was not possible for the Ayah to come to Missie Sahib.
There was something mysterious in the air that morning. Nothing was done in its regular order and several of the native servants seemed missing, while those whom Mary saw slunk or hurried about with ashy and scared faces. But no one would tell her anything and her Ayah did not come. She was actually left alone as the morning went on, and at last she wandered out into the garden and began to play by herself under a tree near the veranda. She pretended that she was making a flower-bed, and she stuck big scarlet hibiscus blossoms into little heaps of earth, all the time growing more and more angry and muttering to herself the things she would say and the names she would call Saidie when she returned.
"Pig! Pig! Daughter of Pigs!" she said, because to call a native a pig is the worst insult of all.
She was grinding her teeth and saying this over and over again when she heard her mother come out on the ve-randa with some one. She was with a fair young man and they stood talking together in low strange voices. Mary knew the fair young man who looked like a boy. She had heard that he was a very young officer who had just come from England. The child stared at him, but she stared most at her mother. She always did this when she had a chance to see her, because the Mem Sahib—Mary used to call her that oftener than anything else—was such a tall, slim, pretty person and wore such lovely clothes. Her hair was like curly silk and she had a delicate little nose which seemed to be disdaining things, and she had large laughing eyes. All her clothes were thin and floating, and Mary said they were "full of lace." They looked fuller of lace than ever this morning, but her eyes were not laughing at all.