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Elizabeth And Her German Garden (Virago Modern Classics)

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Here she wanders through the family gardens, terrified lest a relative emerge to find her trespassing. In 1890 she married her first husband, Count Henning August von Arnim-Schlagenthin, a Prussian aristocrat, with whom she had five children. The girls seem to share Elizabeth’s delight in the spring—or at least they don’t detract from it too much since, thankfully, there is plenty of money for nursemaids and other staff.

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. She has moved to a house in the middle of the french countryside and I hope this inspires her to start here own garden. On some very specially divine days, like today, I have actually longed for some one else to be here to enjoy the beauty with me. entzückend, reizend, herrlich, wundervoll and süss = adorable, delightful, splendid, wonderful and sweet (I added the umlauts; the Gutenberg copy is missing them.Married in 1891 she became known as Elizabeth von Arnim, although she was born Mary Annette Beauchamp. Elizabeth and Her German Garden, written in loose diary format, is about Elizabeth's garden and life there on the estate in Nassenheide.

When the narrator is not telling us about the kinds of roses in her flower-beds (Marie van Houette, Viscountess Folkestone, Laurette Messimy, Souvenir de la Malmaison, Adam and Devoniensis, Persian Yellow, Bicolor, Duke of Teck, Cheshunt Scarlet, Prefet de Limburg…it goes on for pages), she is offering up such pearls of wisdom as ‘why cook when you can get some one to cook for you?I know you have to view this through eyes of the time but I found her views of people from a class she saw as below her awful. In it, you'll find a warm, funny, quirky young woman given to such paroxysms of bliss over flowering things and natural beauty that it's impossible not to get swept up. This attitude was found in two other characters I have come across in her oeuvre, Wemyss a despicable and evil sort in 'Vera' (1921) and Otto, just a male chauvinist pig like the Man of Wrath in 'The Caravaners' (1909).

The books featured on this site are aimed primarily at readers aged 13 or above and therefore you must be 13 years or over to sign up to our newsletter.The passion for being ever with one's fellows, and the fear of being left for a few hours alone, is to me wholly incomprehensible.

Like Woolf, however, she was also ahead of her times, voicing defiant feminist views and caring little what everyone else thought.In the ITV series Downton Abbey, in the second episode of the second season, Joseph Molesley, Matthew Crawley's valet, lends a copy of Elizabeth and her German Garden to the head housemaid Anna Smith, as a tentative romantic gesture. It covers not only what she does in her garden but what she does over the winter months too—the Christmas holiday when two women visit for three weeks. I found the book fascinating despite not being a particularly knowledgeable gardener, and I enjoyed the depictions of that distant world. Elizabeth is at her best and happiest in spring and summer, nominally overseeing the renovation of the her husband’s house, but in truth, reveling in long indolent days in the utter solitude of her garden--reading, dreaming, delighting in each new glory of the unfolding spring. 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.

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