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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Elizabeth and Her German Garden

Von Arnim, Elizabeth. Elizabeth and Her German Garden. While there are many elements that date this book to its publication date (1898), the characters themselves are not dated. They may use horses for travel and sleighs in winter, but Elizabeth, the Man of Wrath, and Irais are remarkably current. Elizabeth relates a year in the life of her garden and her family in journal form. Her discovery of her love for gardening is a joyful one, and she is more comfortable alone in her garden with her books than she is in social settings.

Largely autobiographical, Elizabeth von Arnim (Marie Annette Beauchamp) was born in Australia and raised in England. She married a German Count and went to live on his estate in Germany where she fell in love with the garden that provided the experiences on which this book is based. Charming.

I have a copy of her biography that I will be reading next. Can't wait!

Semi-autobiographical memoir. Originally published in 1898. 175 pages.


  1. I didn't realise there was a biography. Who is it by? I love von Arnim's work and I'd like to know more about her.

  2. I really enjoyed this book by her when I read it earlier in the year. Did you know there is a sequel of sorts, that I have yet to get to? I can totally relate to her desire for solitude, only I am completely inept when it comes to gardening! I will have to look for the bio--I had no idea there was one.

  3. I'm so glad you liked this. It was the first von Arnim I read and inspired my devotion to her! Hope you will also find the bio intriguing.

  4. Ann - Elizabeth of the German Garden is by Leslie de Charms and was published in 1958. I had to order a used copy (which is in great shape) because it is out of print. Melanie at The Indextrious Reader recommended it--thanks Melanie!

    danielle - Yes, I'd like to read the sequel, The Summer of Solitude as well...and agree with you about the desire for solitude.

    Melanie - Oh, funny! I just finished commenting about receiving the suggestion from you about the biography! ...which I'm loving as well.