The books are piling up in the corner and I need to start delving into them. As you all know, the last few weeks have been frantic with Kathryn being here and full of excitement and family gatherings, but now it is over and all is back to normal and takes some getting used to.
It will take me some time to sift and read but I am flagging Elizabeth of the German Garden up straight away even though I have only just started reading the first chapter. It will take me a while to get through it and I do not want to delay giving it as much publicity as I can as I adore the works of Elizabeth von Arnim and want them and her life to be better known.
I gather since she was mentioned on Downton Abbey that there has been a surge of interest in her books and, though it is childish to say so, I got rather cross about this. I discovered her some time ago and with other appreciative friends have rather hugged this knowledge to myself and when she started getting mentions in the papers etc and reports of her books starting to sell well, I felt well it is all very well for you lot thinking you know so much but I have been reading her for years!. I felt as if somebody had stumbled across a secret I did not want to share. Yes I know, daft as well as childish....
Anyway, here is this new biography and it looks promising. I have an older biog of EVA on my shelves by Karen Usborne published back in 1986 so it will be interesting to see if anything new has come up about the subject. Almost inevitable that newer discoveries are made as time goes by.
I have every single one of von Arnim's books on my shelves. They are variable in quality but only variable in that they range from good to marvellous with Vera being the standout title that is really her best. A view on an abusive marriage, mentally abusive that is, full of nervous tension and a shocking ending. I was appalled and riveted by it when I first discovered it. Then The Caravanners and Christopher and Columbus, both funny and full of mordaunt wit; Priscilla's Fortnight is a tremendously Ruritanian type tale of a Princess who wants to lead a normal life with hilarious results; Introduction to Sally about a beautiful girl who, unintentionally, causes havoc wherever she goes and so many more I could rave all night. They are funny, intense, silly, hilarious and sad in tone of tale and narrative and I am glad that many more are sharing the delights of reading Elizabth von Arnim even if it took Downton Abbey to do it.
The author of this biography, Jennifer Walker, is a new name for me but looking at her brief biography it seems that she has lived in Switzerland for fifteen years where she discovered that many of her favourite places had also been those of Elizabeth. One thing led to another and here we have the end result. I am looking forward to reading it.