The Secret Garden

The Turn of the Screw

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Time for a spoooooky Halloween double feature from Novel Ideas! This week we discussed The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, a classic ghost novel from the turn of the (20th) century. In this episode, we talk about 19th century framing devices, horror tropes, class, and classic versus modern audience expectations. We also cover literary conspiracy theories, strange employment conditions, modern misinterpretations of Victorian prose, and why Miles is kind of a dick.

The music bump is “Conspiracy Theory” by Mike Tomaro, as performed by the Capitol Bones.

Join us next time for The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.

115 – The Turn of the Screw – Do You Have Anything to Say About Flora

Our recommendation:

We didn’t find this book to be scary. Or arguably all that entertaining. It will probably work best for you if you are into the history of the horror/ghost/haunting genre or a huge Henry James fan.

Ben: 4/10. I didn’t find it to be so bad that it was upsetting, I just didn’t really enjoy any part of reading it.

Gabs: 5/10. But only if you read into it more malevolently.

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The Secret Garden

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Welcome to the March edition of Novel Ideas, featuring The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. In this episode we talk about the genre of the children’s novel, colonialism, subversions, and–need I say it?–feminism. We also discuss why Colin is kind of a dick, plot related illnesses, failed attempts at comic relief, and children’s dialogue. Gabs even did some research about the background of this novel. I know, try not to lose faith in us. We hope by the time you get to the end of this one, you’ve learned the secret behind the magic.

The music bump is Don Byron’s version of “The Royal Garden Blues.”

103 – The Secret Garden – Dickon Around the Garden

Our ratings:

An easy classic and an early entry in the non-religious children’s book canon, it’s probably worth your time.

Ben: 7/10. Isn’t bad, definitely won’t change your life. Another classic that is easy to discuss.

Gabs: 8/10. Minus 2 points for Colin.