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on 18 June 2017
I found it less charming than I expected and Elizabeth less agreeable than I had expected her to be. She is also somewhat affected - of course the book was written over a hundred years ago, and does not refer to her family by their names. We have the 'babies' the April, baby, the May baby, the June baby and the 'Man of Wrath', who seems just to be a pompous reactionary bore. Elizabeth seems very limited in her interests but is at her best describing the joys of the garden. These descriptions are often charming. But she is disdainful of guests and rude to them.. Her silly little snobberies are not amusing or pleasant to a 21st century reader, She is a self-absorbed and not very kind person, apparently unaware of her life of tremendous privilege.
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on 18 July 2016
The first half of the book was intriguing and interesting, I loved the visual images of the garden and her love of nature it self but lost interest in the 2nd half which seemed to deter from her and the garden to a long winter which failed to keep me absorbed. I really wanted to enjoy this book but it just wasn't for me.
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on 31 January 2016
A charming book - I thoroughly enjoyed this. She prefers to escape the social life of Berlin & live 90 miles north on her husband's Pomeranian estate without him (the Man of Wrath) & her children restoring the garden with help from Russians & Poles. Beautifully written.
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on 28 June 2017
It was a gift so can't review
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on 19 August 2017
Beautiful book
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on 1 June 2017
Print too small so unable to read it
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on 25 May 1999
Elizabeth and her German Garden is a joy: aspiring Gertude Jekylls may not find the horticultural tips they are looking for, but anybody who delights in communing with the earth in their own little corner of half-tamed nature, whilst blithely ignoring the pressures of family and day-to-day life, will find a kindred spirit in Elizabeth.
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on 3 April 2017
everything all right thank you Eleonora Beltrani
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on 23 January 2014
This is a book about so much more than a garden. It begins with the young wife and mother rhapsodising about being alone(apart from a servant or two of course) and neglecting her family duties. Elizabeth charmingly resents any intrusion into her private world, she is very witty about neighbours and unsolicited guests. She is wonderfully out spoken in her(what some would consider) selfishness, especially when you remember she is writing in the 1890's. It is a very self centred piece but she is still somebody I would like to know. The short introduction by Elizabeth Jane Howard gives just the right amount of background, although I would recommend reading it afterwards so that you can make up your own mind about the charms of the book.
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on 2 December 2008
This tale, which recounts Elizabeth Von Arnim's discovery of the joys of gardening in the remote German countryside, is a real breath of fresh air. Von Arnim married young to a much older German aristocrat and found herself in an alien and elite world which reeks of dryness and dust - a captive world. Clearly a free spirit, and an unconventional character, it is facinating to read of Von Arnim's liberation through the rebellious act of creating her garden. However, the story is not just about the garden. It also offers up Von Arnim's wonderful, razor sharp, and somewhat wicked observations of the stultifying aristocratic set in which she finds herself. I love, in particular, the descriptions of her almost comedically chauvinistic husband, who she laughs both with and at. Although a snob herself, and somewhat arrogant, Von Arnim recognises her own failings and is quite happy to puncture her own bubble, which helps keep the reader on her side. Her fiercely independent (for her time) nature, rapier like wit and keen intelligence are refreshing to encounter in this very well written book. Von Arnim was a successful author in her time and I think it is time her books were re-discovered by a modern audience.
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