Elizabeth And Her German Garden (Virago Modern Classics)

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Elizabeth And Her German Garden (Virago Modern Classics)

Elizabeth And Her German Garden (Virago Modern Classics)

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It is nice being the only person who ever goes there or shows it to anybody, but if more people went, perhaps the mosquitoes would be less lean, and hungry, and pleased to see us.

Elizabeth, Countess Russell, was a British novelist and, through marriage, a member of the German nobility, known as Mary Annette Gräfin von Arnim. We have the 'babies' the April, baby, the May baby, the June baby and the 'Man of Wrath', who seems just to be a pompous reactionary bore. I can entertain myself quite well for weeks together, hardly aware, except for the pervading peace, that I have been alone at all . Anyways, concerning the gardening and change of seasons part -for which I took up the book in the first place- I give it 3 stars and just try and ignore the rest. Visitors--some pleasant, some vastly irritating--come and go, or sometimes come and stay, even when Elizabeth would rather they just left.From what I remember von Arnim did not actually have the garden she describes in this delightful book — it is written in the form of a diary with the first entry being May 7 (springtime and how much she looks forward to the blossoming of flora) and the last entry being April 18 almost a year later.

As time goes on, the focus moves from the garden itself to visitors, entertaining them, their reactions to aspects of Elizabeth's family life. Alas, winter is inevitable, especially in the north of Germany, and Elizabeth in winter is a different creature altogether. It has, however, the advantage of being a suitable place to which to take refractory visitors when they have stayed too long, or left my books out in the garden all night, or otherwise made their presence a burden too grievous to be borne; then one fine hot morning when they are all looking limp, I suddenly propose a picnic on the Baltic.

The 103 third parties who use cookies on this service do so for their purposes of displaying and measuring personalized ads, generating audience insights, and developing and improving products. not that Elizabeth really knows all that much about gardening, but she is determined to learn, and she loves being surrounded by flowers. But I read in her biographical note that the novel is "semi-autobiographical" and maybe this is one way in which the author distances herself from the text.

Her husband, whom she refers to as simply the “Man of Wrath”… well, you’ll have to decide for yourself what her intentions were with this irreverent nickname. Initially I didn't realise this was a satire, so the thoughtless cruelty to the baby owls horrified me. When Minora was first introduced as an intelligent and hardworking woman, the Man of Wrath had this to say, “Then she is not pretty.In 1898 she started her literary career by publishing Elizabeth and Her German Garden, a semi-autobiographical novel about a rural idyll published anonymously and, as it turned out to be highly successful, reprinted 21 times within the first year. They married in London but lived in Berlin and eventually moved to the countryside where, in Nassenheide, Pomerania, the von Arnims had their family estate. I admit one thing got on my nerves a bit – Elizabeth’s somewhat patronizing attitude towards those of a lower social class – namely her gardeners and her house servants. When World War II broke out she permanently took up residence in the United States, where she died in 1941, aged 74. In fact, from reading the novel I would have thought her an aristocratic German raised, as many were, by English and French governesses.

I loved reading it on our porch with the sun shining through the winter trees and felt I could chat with Elizabeth quite nicely. Writing as ‘Elizabeth’, she immediately became a literary celebrity and went on to publish twenty more eagerly anticipated novels. The sudden view of the sea from the messy, pine-covered height directly above it where we picnic; the wonderful stretch of lonely shore with the forest to the water's edge; the coloured sails in the blue distance; the freshness, the brightness, the vastness—all is lost upon the picnickers, and made worse than indifferent to them, by the perpetual necessity they are under of fighting these horrid creatures.Here we see the more acid, worldly side of Elizabeth, and learn more about the Man of Wrath who has evidently earned his nickname.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
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