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Elizabeth And Her German Garden (Virago Modern Classics)

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Initially I didn't realise this was a satire, so the thoughtless cruelty to the baby owls horrified me. This one gave me the joy of the garden, the April, May and June babies, and 'the man of wrath' - and I have been telling people about this author for 50 years . Elizabeth and Her German Garden, written in loose diary format, is about Elizabeth's garden and life there on the estate in Nassenheide. The edition of the book I have (Penguin English Library, 2018) is quite nice with a sea of yellow dandelions on the front.

Kreuzzeitung = The Neue Preußische Zeitung ("New Prussian Newspaper"), a German newspaper printed in Berlin from 1848–1939. 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. When her children appear, they are charming and funny; three girls, all under the age of six and amusingly nicknamed April baby, May baby and June baby. They should be welcomed and sped with equal heartiness; for truth compels me to confess that, though it pleases me to see them come, it pleases me just as much to see them go. In an old house where she lives which was once a convent, Elizabeth spends all her time reading in the garden and planning how to tame the wilderness of a garden she has initially inherited and turn it into a haven.Her deep friendship with her younger cousin Katherine Mansfield is highlighted, and her escape from a disastrous second marriage to Lord Francis Russell (older brother of Bertrand) described. Then indeed I have felt ashamed of the fewness of my wants; but only for a moment, and only under the withering influence of the eyeglass; for, after all, the owner's spirit is the same spirit as that which dwells in my servants--girls whose one idea of happiness is to live in a town where there are others of their sort with whom to drink beer and dance on Sunday afternoons. Elizabeth and her German Garden, published anonymously in 1898, was a barely fictionalised account of Elizabeth’s life and the creation of her garden at the family home of Nassenheide in Pomerania, where Hugh Walpole and E. Römhild, Juliane (2014) Femininity and Authorship in the Novels of Elizabeth von Arnim: At Her Most Radiant Moment, p. Give me a garden full of strong, healthy creatures, able to stand roughness and cold without dismally giving in and dying.

There was not a page in the book that didn’t make me smile, hardly a paragraph that didn’t include some ironic comment. She expresses hope that the ‘benediction’ bestowed by her garden will help her grow in grace and patience.So to cheer me up a bit, I decided to grab Elizabeth von Arnim’s semi-autobiographical novel off my shelf. The marriage ended in disaster, with Elizabeth escaping to the United States and the couple finally agreeing, in 1919, to get a divorce. Humility, and the most patient perseverance, seem almost as necessary in gardening as rain and sunshine, and every failure must be used as a stepping stone to something better.

The purple ones are the most charming and go well with every rose, but I have white ones with Laurette Messimy, and yellow ones with Safrano, and a new red sort in the big centre bed of red roses. There has been rain in the night, and the whole garden seems to be singing--not the untiring birds only, but the vigorous plants, the happy grass and trees, the lilac bushes--oh, those lilac bushes! These despicable but irritating [mosquitoes] don't seem to have anything to do but to sit in multitudes on the sand, waiting for any prey Providence may send them; and as soon as the carriage appears they rise up in a cloud, and rush to meet us, almost dragging us out bodily, and never leave us until we drive away again. With their unique humour and brand of rebellious feminism, these won high critical praise and gained a wide readership across the world. La gente qui intorno è persuasa che io sia, per metterla nei termini più gentili possibile, oltremodo eccentrica; perché si è sparsa la voce che passo la giornata fuori all’aperto con un libro, e che occhi mortali ancora non mi hanno mai visto cucire o cucinare.Elizabeth was an avid reader and has interesting comments on where certain authors are best read; she tells charming stories of her children and has a sometimes sharp sense of humor in regards to the people who will come and disrupt her solitary lifestyle. Yet my town acquaintances look upon it as imprisonment, and burying, and I don't know what besides, and would rend the air with shrieks if condemned to such a life. She prefers to spend as much of her day as possible outdoors in the garden, even on the coldest days of winter, and gets labeled as eccentric by her neighbors.

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