Elizabeth and Her German Garden

  • by Elizabeth von Arnim
  • Narrated by Nadia May
  • 3 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Indoors are servants, meals, and furniture. There, too, is The Man of Wrath, her upright Teutonic husband, inspiring in Elizabeth a mixture of irritation, affection, and irreverence. But outside she can escape domestic routine, read favorite books, play with her three babies and garden to her heart's content. Through Elizabeth's eyes we watch the seasons, from May's "oasis of bird-cherries and greenery" to the time when "snow carpets her Pomeranian wilderness". And each season brings with it new events as friends and neighbors come and go, all wonderfully recorded with Elizabeth's uniquely witty pen.


What the Critics Say

"Rarely is there a book that when read once, one wishes to start rereading right away. Here is one. Elizabeth's memoir is read with elan and obvious relish by Nadia May." (AudioFile)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Cavorting in the Gardens

This book is a solitary walk through the flower gardens, into the forest, down by a stream. Getting away from people is a recurring theme in Elizabeth von Arnim books: The Solitary Summer, The Enchanted April, Elizabeth and Her German Garden and even works such as Princess Priscilla's Fortnight have that element of escape from people. Yes, it is peaceful although issues with various gardeners complicate life along with the self satisfied superiority of the Man of Wrath. There is a gentle humor, and unfailing pleasure in observing the day to day, even hour to hour changes in the gardens. There is unabashed enjoyment of her babies, the fresh air, the gardening work and the time alone to think. One can feel the garden solitary quiet. I loved the idea of Elizabeth escaping into the snow covered gardens, then when she is sure that she is alone, dances and cavorts in the dark. Her friends from town were absolutely sure that she felt abandoned and lonely without the crowds and parties. No indeed, she felt liberated and exhilarated to be away from the noise and insipid conversations.

I have grown quite used to and fond of Nadia May's narrations as I listened to her on a couple dozen audio books in my collection ranging from Agnes Grey, Middlemarch, Northanger Abbey and Pride and Prejudice. She is consistent and I have found that trait particularly valuable in a narrator.
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- Joseph R

Spoiled, Privileged and Rich--Complaints in Diary

I read this book because Elizabeth von Arnim wrote the beautiful story, The Enchanted April. The way she represented the inner workings and vulnerability and awakening joy of those 4 women made me feel close to her. She truly conveyed the hopes and fears of the women in that book. This is somewhat of a diary. I guess I shouldn't judge her on her personal writings, but it reflected a spoiled, hauty, self centered, self indulgent rich wife. There didn't seem to be a speck of humility or vulnerability in her. She referred to her children as "The May Baby or The April Baby" and was constantly handing them off to maids and servants to tend them so she could get to her garden. She complained of visitors to her estate, having to go to lavish balls and parties, and the preference for being utterly alone and not bothered with motherly or household duties---such as supervising and ordering servants around. She mightily complained of her gardeners ineptness and bad character. I couldn't relate to being spoiled, privileged and rich. The narrator perfectly depicted the snooty tone in her reading with her high pitched, clipped voice. I gave up half way through. Not a fun read for me.
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- Kindle Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-16-2006
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.