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Home » Performers » Virginia McKenna

About Virginia McKenna

Born in London in 1931, Virginia McKenna trained as an actress at the Central School of Speech and Drama and worked extensively in both the Theatre and films throughout the 1950s. It was the 1956 film A Town Like Alice that shot her to fame, and earning her the BAFTA for Best Actress. In 1958 the film of the life of the Second World War spy Violette Szabo Carve Her Name with Pride established her as a mainstay of the British film industry.

She is however most famed for her role as Joy Adamson in the 1966 film Born Free which has led to a formidable activism in the world of animal rights and habitat protection.  In 2004 these services to wildlife along with her services to the arts, were recognised with the award of an OBE -  the Order of The British Empire.

Virginia McKenna audio book downloads:

The Secret Garden Audiobook

The Secret Garden Audiobook
Written by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Read by Virginia McKenna OBE

The celebrated English actress Virginia McKenna OBE reads this delightful unabridged audiobook of one of  Frances Hodgson Burnett's most popular novels. The Secret Garden has been adapted for film, stage and television, but it is hard to beat this wonderful audio book reading of the original story.

What the Narnia books did for wardrobes, The Secret Garden did for the walled garden. Few readers can fail to share with Mary Lennox that inexplicable thrill of anticipation at the notion of an enclosed and secret world, bursting with potential life and beauty but remaining hidden from view.

When she finds the key to the secret garden, Mary embarks on a journey of self-discovery and enables other characters in the novel to open doors and windows into their own lives, bringing vitality and vigour back to the inhabitants of Misselthwaite Manor. The author’s interest in Theosophy is perhaps reflected in the journey of the crippled Colin, who believes he can heal himself through positive thinking. And, as the roses return to the garden, so they bloom in Mary’s cheeks - as she discovers an ancient and timeless magic that every gardener will recognise and understand.

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