“It was true that there was no one in the bungalow but herself and the little rustling snake.” By Kelsey Hamersley - inspired by The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Watercolor. March, 2012.
I adore The Secret Garden. It’s one of those few books I’ve read countless times—not three or four, exceeding ten. My copy has Tasha Tudor’s illustrations, which are charming and best fit the picture in my head. I keep craving more, though, so that’s what started this piece. Plus I just came across this quote from an Arthur Rackham biography by James Hamilton:
“Rackham describes three main roles of illustration: firstly to say what the author failed to say clearly; secondly to add some fresh aspect of interest to a subject which the author has already treated interestingly from his point of view (‘a partnership that has often been productive of good’); and thirdly and most fascinatingly of all, the expression by the artist of an individual sense of delight or emotion aroused by the accompanying passage of text.”
That’s what I’ve got with The Secret Garden. An individual sense of delight.