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Works of Elizabeth Von Arnim. Elizabeth and her German Garden. The Caravaners. Fraulein Schmidt And Mr Anstruther. The Pastor's Wife. Elizabeth von Arnim, Collection. Fraulein Schmidt and Mr. The Solitary Summer. In the Mountains. The Benefactress. How to write a great review. The review must be at least 50 characters long. The title should be at least 4 characters long. Your display name should be at least 2 characters long. At Kobo, we try to ensure that published reviews do not contain rude or profane language, spoilers, or any of our reviewer's personal information.

The Benefactress Full Audiobook by Elizabeth von ARNIM by Published 1900 onward

You submitted the following rating and review. We'll publish them on our site once we've reviewed them. I'm with Belva on this one! I did the same thing a few months ago with Buried in Print or someone with a similar title to Stuck in a Book. Buried - what is your name so we don't keep doing this to you? And where is Simon these days? Having a life? Nice catch. Oh man! My bad.

Elizabeth von Arnim

Sorry dudes. I am unable to even get the genders correct. I believe that buriedinprint is of the feminine gender and well, we all know that Simon is of the opposite. So double bads, here. I think Simon has a new job so that's probably taking up a lot of his time! It's a humorous look at anti-German prejudice during WWI, as expressed by the reactions of the world to the two Annas, half English half German twins. They fall into company with Mr Twist, a "motherly" American man, and come to depend on him to get them out of the scrapes into which they frequently fall.

But their friendship with him is of course viewed suspiciously - there must be some immoral goings-on, not to mention that the girls might be spies who've trapped him in their conspiracies. I found the book a bit too long for the subject matter and characters - it takes a long time to get going and then a lot of the encounters the girls have basically repeat the same points over and over again. The characters are secondary to the satire, and don't really develop and grow; they are there to illustrate the author's points.

I think if it had been a hundred pages shorter I'd have enjoyed this a lot more. Now I'm reading Vera , which I expect to be very different in tone. I agree Clare. If this had been my first Von Arnim I would not have read a second. I plowed on with it and finished it but after some of her others it was a huge bust for me.

Here's what I've just written about Vera on my reading journal thread: This is about a sheltered young woman who attracts the attention of an older man while mourning her father. The scenes where Wemyss is romancing Lucy are nauseating as he treats her like a baby and gushes about how with her short hair she looks to be as young as 12 years old. Wemyss is based on the author's second husband, whom she parted from acrimoniously.

I have not done very well with Elizabeth von Arnim so far but hope to make up for it in the remainder of the month. Finishing The Stories of Edith Wharton: Volume 1 took me a few days into this month even though I had already read four of them elsewhere. Then I started Mr Skeffington but it did not grab me even though I liked its light comedic tone.

I had seen the film, but quite a while ago now, so I don't really remember it or how it might have differed from the book. I kept being distracted by other things but finally finished it today. It was worth reading though some aspects of it were a bit dated. I went to the library yesterday and picked up all their books by Elizabeth von Arnim that I did not already own, and will try to read them all over the next few weeks.

The latter two intrigue me particularly because there are few mentions of them so I may try them first. Incidentally the library was also having a small fiction sale and I was astonished to find a copy of Elizabeth Taylor: Complete Short Stories for sale as it is a fairly recent book. Even though I have read it I had to buy it, of course for 50 cents!

I may also do a reread of My Antonia in the rather recently published Norton Critical, to include the supplementary materials. I've just finished Vera which was chilling and powerful, a very uncomfortable read. Next up is Mr Skeffington. I plan to start The Caravaners today. I started The Caravaners last night and got about ten pages in before being called away. I have almost nothing left to read by her in the house so this is it for the month I think.

Well, after reading the comments on it above I picked up Vera , just to see how long it was. Then I read the most interesting introduction it's the green VMC edition , saying that the author felt it was her best book, and then of course I started the story itself. And now, after just a short break for lunch and a walk, I have finished it. I must say I was very impressed with the way the true character of Wemyss was slowly and subtly revealed, and equally impressed with how Miss Entwhistle the maiden aunt of his second wife conducted herself towards him at the end.

Altogether a very rewarding read and an ideal way to spend a wet and windy Good Friday. ETA: About halfway through I was thinking it a bit of a coincidence that the titular characters in both this book and Mr Skeffington were very much present throughout the book, but either did not make a physical appearance or only did so right at the end. I also thought it was about time I read Rebecca , which I have owned for a long time but never read, as it was apparently partly inspired by this book.

In fact I have a lot of unread books by Daphne du Maurier , so a month of reading her would clearly be in order too. This is now the fifth of the six books by Elizabeth von Arnim I own that I have read, but The Pastor's Wife will probably have to wait until another time.

I really enjoyed Fraulein Schmidt and Mr Anstruther. Actually it reminded me in tone and style of Elizabeth and her German Garden and made me think I really ought to reread that book.

Elizabeth and Her German Garden

I have chosen several amusing passages to read aloud to she-who-likes-to-be-read-to. I would still like to read a biography of the author too so will see if I can get the library to order the latest one by Jennifer Walker. Next up will be The Caravaners which I'm sure will not be such a quick read. Once I'd started it I went through it pretty quickly in more or less one sitting, with just a short break to get some lunch. I'll have to look up when I originally read it now.

I'm enjoying The Caravaners. The book is written from the point of view of a stuffy German man on a caravan holiday with his wife. It is similar to reading The Diary of a Provincial Lady , but much more biting.


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Agree with Laura. Very funny. I am well into The Ordeal of Elizabeth and am enjoying it but finding it to be a bit of fluff. And I am in agreement with whomever doubted that it was a true von Arnim as it just doesn't 'feel' like I am reading her. She had a style of her own and this novel doesn't match with it. I should be able to finish it when I get home today or tomorrow and hopefully will have time to read something else by her. Skeffington is definitely causing me to change my mind about the author-ship of The Ordeal of Elizabeth.

I now think that von Arnim did indeed write TOoE. It was an old hardback edition so it had no introduction or afterword, which I find useful in the VMC editions. The novel reminded me of some of Katherine Mansfield's early stories in its satire of the "German character", though on the whole it was more successful than them I wonder if it was ever published in Germany and, if so, what the reaction was. I thought 'Elizabeth' was very daring to write from the point of view of an arrogant, pedantic German army officer who seemed to be completely unaware of his effect on his travelling companions, and on women in particular.

It must have been hard to sustain this for a whole novel but presumably she actually knew people like this they did and, surprisingly do still, exist. I enjoyed it and now have to toss up between The Jasmine Farm and Expiation , neither of which I know anything about, for the next one. I'm hoping to start The Enchanted April soon - I read the first chapter last night and it was delicious, but I need a palate cleanser in the form of a classic crime book before I commit myself emotionally to this one! I am over pages into The Caravaners.


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  5. Still very funny but sadly I think the impossible Baron was her own husband. I seem to remember that he went to prison for fraud and she moved back to England with her kids. But, as we all know, she didn't do any better with her second husband, right? I finished Mr Skeffington yesterday. Really enjoyed it, I have pretty much loved everything I have so far read by Elizabeth von Arnim. I loved Mr Skeffington too. I finished The Caravaners in bed last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. I lived in Germany for 4 years in the 90s and loved it.

    It was one of the happiest times of my life. For a start, under the EU, they paid me to stay home with my son for 2 years, for which I will always be grateful. But anyone who has ever dealt with German bureaucracy will tell you that the Baron is still very much alive and well and that you will be 'corrected' if you don't dot every 'i' and cross every 't'.

    I highly recommend this book.

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    It was a delight from start to finish. And oh yes, the Baron definitely reminded me of him! But having seen the praise from Laura, Grant and romain for The caravaners I've decided to try and fit it in before the end of the month. Fraulein Schmidt was a delightful heroine, refusing to say or do what people expect of her unless it was what she wanted in the first place , loyal to her father and her friends and with a sharp eye for human nature and its failings.

    Although it was a bit slow to get started, this ended up being a very enjoyable read.