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Elizabeth and Her German Garden

Elizabeth von Arnim

Book Overview: 

Elizabeth and Her German Garden is a novel by Elizabeth von Arnim. The story is a year's diary written by the protagonist Elizabeth about her experiences learning gardening and interacting with her friends. It includes commentary on the beauty of nature and on society, but is primarily humorous due to Elizabeth's frequent mistakes and her idiosyncratic outlook on life. She looked down upon the frivolous fashions of her time writing "I believe all needlework and dressmaking is of the devil, designed to keep women from study.' The book is the first in a series about the same character. (Summary by Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .The rockets are all out. The gardener, in a fit of inspiration, put them right along the very front of two borders, and I don't know what his feelings can be now that they are all flowering and the plants behind are completely hidden; but I have learned another lesson, and no future gardener shall be allowed to run riot among my rockets in quite so reckless a fashion. They are charming things, as delicate in colour as in scent, and a bowl of them on my writing-table fills the room with fragrance. Single rows, however, are a mistake; I had masses of them planted in the grass, and these show how lovely they can be. A border full of rockets, mauve and white, and nothing else, must be beautiful; but I don't know how long they last nor what they look like when they have done flowering. This I shall find out in a week or two, I suppose. Was ever a would-be gardener left so entirely to his own blundering? No doubt it would be a gain of years to the garden if I were not forced to . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Has there ever been an author/protagonist that you loved...but that you weren't sure others would love...so that you felt compelled to defend her...before anyone else had even said anything?...

For me, this is one of those books! I adore Elizabeth, both the author and the protagonist. However, I d...more

A lovely novel about an English noblewoman who lives in a house in Germany with a beautiful garden. Elizabeth dislikes her husband -- who she calls the Man of Wrath -- and she keeps a wicked and humorous commentary in her diary entries. She prefers to spend as much of her day as possible outdoors...more

Totally loved Elizabeth and her snarky, honest self. She wants to be left alone to enjoy her garden and her books. I can completely identify.

This is classified as a piece of semi-autobiographical literature and a classic. It was published in 1898, when Elizabeth von Arnim (1866-1941) was still married to her first husband Henning August von Arnim-Schlagenthin, a Prussian aristocrat. Married in 1891 she became known as Elizabeth von Ar...more

Es una auténtica delicia, creo que no hay una palabra mejor para describirlo.
Al principio pensé que iba a hablar demasiado para mi gusto de flores y plantas, no es que no me gusten pero sólo sé distinguir las más conocidas y temía perderme, pero no. "Elizabeth y su jardín alemán" es eso pero es m...more

0,4 estrellas

A favoritos!

Es posible que una corta novela como Elizabeth y su jardín alemán sea capaz de llegar tan hondo al alma femenina. Una historia llena de sentimiento e introspección. Absolutamente reflexiva, no sin cierto aire irónico. Elizabeth es feliz con sus pequeñas hijas e incomprend...more

After enjoying Enchanted April so much I was suprised I didn't enjoy this one. I found Elizabeth unkind and shallow. Taking a baby owl from a nest was horrible. 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.

This is a book to disappear into and I did. 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. As Voltaire before her said that happiness lies in the cultivation of a garden; as Cicero said that if you have...more

Fictional autobiography would be the proper way to describe this book. Elizabeth is snarky and opinionated but in such an adorable way that you can't help but like her. All she wants to do is take care of her large garden and her three young children, and be left alone. She tolerates her husband...more

Elizabeth and her German Garden is a semi-autobiographical book written in 1898 by Elizabeth von Arnim (author of The Enchanted April) about her life and garden in the area of Nassenheide, Pomerania, where the family had their estate (her husband was minor nobility).

Pomerania is an area in the no...more

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