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Comments

Rachel

Beautiful, Danielle. Von Arnim has such a unique and restful voice. I love silence. There is such power in it, such restoration, and such peace. Sometimes I long for it. There isn't much silence to be had in New York, that's for sure!

Carolyn

This sounds so lovely and refreshing, I simply must read one of her books soon! (Although it really sounds like the perfect book for summer)

Caroline

This is so beautiful. I liked Enchanted April so much but this and Elizabeth and her German garden are still on my wish list. In real life I must admit I rather dream of a garden in the South of France at the moment. Bleak, bleak January days.

Sarah

This sounds so beautiful - I agree that there aren't enough opportunities for silence. I wish we could all escape and take the summer off and be perpetually happy without intrusions like Elizabeth, though for most of us the other aspects of our lives have to continue (and they too hopefully have their merits!). I've read Enchanted April and remember enjoying it immensely so this is a good prompt to go and seek out more of her books - if this is a companion piece to Elizabeth and her German Garden maybe I should try that one first?

catharina

I think you have hereby suggested a way to fill the gap that followed finishing my daily read Notes From Walnut Tree Farm (Roger Deakin). Thank you Danielle!

Danielle

Rachel--I bet you don't get a lot of peace and quiet in NY! There's definitely a place for noise (and there is good noise, too), but I have to have a little peace and quiet every day to stay balanced! I do like her voice and this is going to prompt me to look for more of her fiction.
Carolyn--Yes, her books (particularly the gardening books) are nice to read when summer is beginning. Imagine reading a book like this while sitting in your own garden, or in my case on my porch! Although I'm quickly getting tired of winter so this is pure escapism for me! She's definitely worth looking for.
Caroline--January is very much a bleak month and that's why I often seek out books like this that make me think of warm, sunny places. The South of France would be a dream come true--imagine fields of lavender! :) Enchanted April is one of my very favorite books, too.
Sarah--Unfortunately in practical terms not many of us would get the opportunity Elizabeth had, but it's nice to think about once in a while. And you are right some 'noise' isn't really noise at all and has a place too in the world. It probably doesn't matter too much, but if you've not read either of her gardening books, her other would be a good place to start.
Catharina--I think you'd like this one very much. I'm actually not much of a gardener, but I like the idea of them and love the feeling I get reading the book. I still need to check out Deakin--my library doesn't have this book, but we have something different by him.

jenclair

I loved Elizabeth and Her German Garden by von Arnim and the biography Elizabeth of the German Garden by Leslie de Charms.

I need to look for The Solitary Summer -- I really liked the excerpt you included.

Kathy

This is a woman after my own heart--one of my deepest desires is a long stretch of time where I can be someplace by myself. The noise of life wears on me. I loved The Enchanted April and can't think why I haven't sought out more of von Arnin's work.

Stefanie

Oh this sounds wonderful! Definitely one to read in a quiet corner.

Jeane

I've always loved The Enchanted April- the only von Armin I've read. I think I would really like a book about hers that centers on the garden!

Margaret Powling

I adored Elizabeth & Her German Garden and also An Enchanted April. Not only that, I have several more VMC of von Arnim's books including The Solitary Summer and only need more time in which to read so that I can take this down from the shelf. By the way, there is a biography of von Arnim called Elizabeth of The German Garden by Leslie de Charms published in 1958 by Heinemann.

Margaret Powling

Just noticed that the biog by Leslie de Charms has already been mentioned in this comments column.

catharina

Ordered Elisabeth And Her German Garden and The Solitary Summer this afternoon. Now I'm in happy anticipation :).

Lemony Renee'

Oh, I am a huge Elizabeth V fan, myself! I have read quite a few. All the Dogs of My Life was very novel in its approach to an autobio. The Enchanted April might still be my absolute fav, even simply for the line, ". . . her feet, in lillies." That always makes me pause, close my eyes, and try to imagine it.

I came across a vintage hardback version (though not a first edition, drat!) of Mr. Skeffington. I've not read it yet, though.

Wonderful, wonderful post.

litlove

She was such an amazing woman and I adore her writing. I don't think anyone else produces such a feeling of serenity in the reader. You make me want to go and read nothing but her books for the next few weeks, Danielle! Lovely post, btw.

Mrs Joan Hunter Dunn

I didn't realise that there is a sequel to Elizabeth and her German Garden so thank you for enlightening me. A big fan of silence. I don't need much time to myself but when I need it I need it silent. I think that's why I also like blogging - silence except for the tap tap of keys...

Danielle

Jenclair--I've been contemplating getting the bio of Elizabeth von Arnim through ILL. I might try and read more of her fiction first, though. I highly recommend The Solitary Summer--I think I like it even more than Elizabeth and Her German Garden!
Kathy--I think you'd like her gardening books, which aren't just about gardening at all! It would be bliss to have a summer away from it all, I agree.
Stefanie--If this is the one you have on your Kindle, then you are in for a treat as it is a lovely read! Even if it is cold and snowy out, I was reading it sitting inside in a pool of sunshine!
Jeane--I think you'd like it--it has such a nice calming quality about it and a dash of humor as well.
Margaret--I plan on getting ahold of that bio through my library! It's good to hear it recommended from other readers! I also want to read more of her fiction, so I went to Amazon today and ordered three more of her books!
Catharina--I hope you'll like it, but I think you will. I was reading today and almost wanted to hide away and finish it in one big gulp! I like this one better than Elizabeth and Her German Garden, I think,though both are delightful. I can't recall if you've already read Tove Jansson? Am loving that as well--today has been a day filled with lovely, gentle reads. Just what I need in January.
Lemony Renee--The Enchanted April is one of my favs, too, and one I like revisiting from time to time. Pure escapist stuff but well done, too. I have yet to read any other of her novels, which do you recommend? I broke down and ordered three or four today so I have something on my shelves to pick up later. It's funny as my mom asked for the movie Mr Skeffington for Christmas, which I bought and gave her. I had no idea at all that it was from a book by EvA! My library has that book so I hope to read it at some point, too.
Litlove--I feel the same way now, about her work. I want to read more of her novels. I could use that sort of serenity--not sure why I waited so long to pick this one up!
Mrs Joan Hunter Dunn--Solitude can be a very good, revitalizing thing and I think everyone should be able to have quiet time every day. I'm thoroughly enjoying this book and think I like it even better than the original. It seems to be in print, too, which I was happy to see. Definitely one to keep an eye out for.

Dorothy W.

E.M. Forster tutored her kids? Wow! I've been meaning to read Von Arnim for a while now, and I'll get there! The Enchanted April will be first, but it's good to know there are more good books after that one.

catharina

Yes I did enjoy Tove Jansson's Summerbook a couple of years ago and to bring back the atmosphere a little I reread the Midsummer chapter (12 in my version)and more specifically about Eriksson as the 'fulfiller of dreams'(not sure how is it translated into English as I have a Dutch version)this morning. Lovely.

Danielle

Dorothy--Isn't that wild?! She was already a popular author--I wonder if he had started writing yet? The Enchanted April is a Wonderful book--I hope you like it when you get to it!
Catharina--I finished the Jansson yesterday--loved it. It was different than I expected, but very good. Have you read her Winter Book? And this is a good book to just read chapters out of--I will have to keep it by my bedside. I loved the chapter on her cat! :)

catharina

I haven't read the Winter Book yet, now off to reread the chapter on her cat!

Danielle

Catharina--The cat chapter was great--I would have felt the same way about Moppy!

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