Cover image for The secret garden cookbook : recipes inspired by Frances Hodgson Burnett's Secret garden
The secret garden cookbook : recipes inspired by Frances Hodgson Burnett's Secret garden
Cotler, Amy.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins Publishers, [1999]

Physical Description:
128 pages ; 24 cm
A compilation of recipes for foods served in England during the Victorian Era and inspired by characters and events in "The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Grand Island Library TX717 .C588 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Hamburg Library TX717 .C588 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Lake Shore Library TX717 .C588 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Williamsville Library TX717 .C588 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Audubon Library TX717 .C588 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden delights in the wondrous discoveries of lonely Mary Lennox as she slowly helps bring an abandoned garden back to life. It also delights in good food and a robust appetite, and the health and strength they can bring. Written at a time when many children were going hungry and even starving, Burnett's beloved story celebrates the magic of fresh air, new milk, homemade currant buns, and hearty, simple fare.

Inside the pages of this cookbook are recipes for Mary's favorite foods, in and out of the garden, from porridge to roasted potatoes and eggs, all inspired by The Secret Garden and all adapted by chef and culinary historian Amy Coder from traditional Victorian recipes. Ms. Coder has supplemented these simple, wholesome recipes with fascinating tidbits on Victorian foods and Victorian eating customs. The result is a scrumptious tribute to Burnett's classic novel, a fascinating glimpse into the cooking customs of a historical period that is now long past, and a step-by-step guide to making delicious, tasty treats to enjoy in your own secret garden.

Author Notes

Frances Hodgson Burnett wrote for children and adults, publishing both plays and novels. She was born in Manchester, England, on November 24, 1849. Her father, who owned a furniture store, died when she was only four years old. Her mother struggled to keep the family business running while trying to raise five children. Finally, because of the failing Manchester economy, the family sold the store and immigrated to the United States. In 1865 they settled just outside of Knoxville, Tennessee.

Hoping to offset her family's continuing financial troubles, Burnett began to submit her stories to women's magazines. She was immediately successful. In the late 1860s her stories were published in nearly every popular American magazine. Burnett helped to support her family with income from the sale of her stories, even saving enough to finance a trip back to England, where she stayed for over a year. In 1879, Burnett published her first stories for children; two of her most popular are A Little Princess and The Secret Garden.

In contrast to an extremely successful career, Burnett's personal life held many challenges. Her son Lionel was diagnosed with tuberculosis at age 15, from which he never recovered. His death inspired several stories about dead or dying children.

Burnett lived her later years on Long Island, New York. She died in 1924.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4 Up-A charming homage to Burnett's classic, this collection of 42 recipes is divided into chapters such as "Yorkshire Breakfasts," "Dickon's Cottage Food," and "A Taste of India." Cotler also includes some fascinating bits of culinary and social history, tossing off some intriguing anecdotes along the way. There are quotes from poems, various Victorian personages, and, of course, The Secret Garden. The book's design is simple yet elegant, with creamy paper and small green illustrations that add an air of grace and refinement. The author offers some tasty-looking recipes, but be aware that many of them will be difficult for children. A few involve yeast, and a recipe for Molded Spiced Pears that Cotler describes as "easy and fun" calls for a good deal of experience and judgment. However, she obviously loves food, history, and Burnett's book, and her enthusiasm shines through. This literary and culinary treat will be best enjoyed as a family resource, for children and adults cooking together.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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