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Elizabeth And Her German Garden (Virago Modern Classics)

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Elizabeth and Her German Garden," a novel by Elizabeth von Arnim, was popular and frequently reprinted during the early years of the 20th century. 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).

I found the book fascinating despite not being a particularly knowledgeable gardener, and I enjoyed the depictions of that distant world. Von Arnim wrote another 20 books, which were all published "By the author of Elizabeth and Her German Garden".All she wants to do is take care of her large garden and her three young children, and be left alone. She plays with her beloved daughters, even as she grieves the house and garden in which she grew up and which she lost to her cousins for the "crime" of having been born a girl. The passion for being for ever with one's fellows, and the fear of being left for a few hours alone, is to me wholly incomprehensible.

Elizabeth and Her German Garden, written in loose diary format, is about Elizabeth's garden and life there on the estate in Nassenheide. This little gem of a book, the first novel by Elizabeth Von Arnim I had read, both delighted and intrigued me. 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. studiare le piante, andare per tentativi ed aspettare il momento della fioritura assieme alla speranza che germogli anche la possibilità per le donne di essere rispettate come esseri unici.

In the beginning I found her eccentric, but charming, but the more I read, the stronger was the feeling that her tone switched from funny to flippant and patronising either somewhere along the line or it had always been so. Second, the descriptions of all the flowers and the garden were longish and slightly boring since I'm not into gardening, at all (I unfortunately kill everything!

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.She gives some lovely descriptions of her house and garden as well as of the surrounding area, while at the same time revealing herself as someone with very clear views about her life and world. 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.

Where Virginia Woolf said that women need a room of their own, von Arnim makes a strong case for a garden as that most necessary of settings. Other than that, I was pleased with the lovely distraction from looking at the same walls of this same house day after day. Then she witnesses the treatment of women by their laboring husbands and was lectured by the Man Of Wrath on the acceptability of beating your wife. Initially I didn't realise this was a satire, so the thoughtless cruelty to the baby owls horrified me. This is Elizabeth von Arnim's first book and I could tell because I've read other books by her and enjoyed them much more than this one.Elizabeth consoles herself in her garden, celebrating her happy days (as opposed to her "reluctant nights" with her husband, the Man of Wrath). 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. The Virago Modern Edition is, I think, the only one in print that is by an actual publishing company, and their Kindle is actually cheaper than some of the bad copies. If you like Jane Austen's humor, you'll probably find this very amusing as well (I laughed out loud a few times, and often smiled).

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