Elizabeth von Arnim

Elizabeth von Arnim

Elizabeth von Arnim (31 August 1866 – 9 February 1941), born Mary Annette Beauchamp, was an Australian-born British novelist. By marriage she became Gräfin (Countess) von Arnim-Schlagenthin, and by a second marriage, Countess Russell. Although known in her early life as Mary, "after the publication of her first book, she was known to her readers, eventually to her friends, and finally even to her family as Elizabeth."[1] and she is now invariably referred to as Elizabeth von Arnim. She also wrote under the pen name Alice Cholmondeley.



She was born at her family's holiday home in Kirribilli Point in Australia. When she was three years old the family returned to England where she was raised. Her parents were Henry Herron Beauchamp (1825–1907), merchant, and her mother Elizabeth (Louey) Weiss Lassetter (1836–1919). Arnim had four brothers, a sister and a cousin from New Zealand, Kathleen Beauchamp, who later married John Middleton Murry and wrote under the pen name Katherine Mansfield.

In 1891 Elizabeth married Count Henning August von Arnim-Schlagenthin, a Prussian aristocrat, whom she had met during an Italian tour with her father. They married in London but lived in Berlin and eventually moved to the countryside where, in Nassenheide, Pomerania, the Arnims had their family estate. The couple had five children, four daughters and a son. The children's tutors at Nassenheide included E. M. Forster and Hugh Walpole.

Arnim would later refer to her domineering husband as the "Man of Wrath". Writing was her refuge from what turned out to be an incompatible marriage. Arnim's husband had increasing debts and was eventually sent to prison for fraud. This was when she created her pen name "Elizabeth" and launched her career as a writer by anonymously publishing her semi-autobiographical, brooding yet satirical Elizabeth and her German Garden (1898). It would be such a success as to be reprinted twenty times in its first year[citation needed]. A bitter-sweet memoir and companion to it was The Solitary Summer, (1899) and The Benefactress (1902) was also semi-autobiographical. Other titles dealing with feminist protest and witty observations of life in provincial Germany were to follow, including The Princess Priscilla's Fortnight (1905) and Fraulein Schmidt and Mr Anstruther (1907). She would sign her next twenty or so books simply as written, "by the author of Elizabeth and Her German Garden" and later simply "By Elizabeth". In 1908 Arnim left Nassenheide to return to London.

Count von Arnim died in 1910, and in 1916 his widow married John Francis Stanley Russell, 2nd Earl Russell, elder brother of Bertrand Russell. The marriage ended in acrimony, with Elizabeth fleeing to the United States and the couple separating in 1919, though they never divorced. In 1920 she embarked on an affair with Alexander Stuart Frere Reeves (1892–1984), a British publisher nearly 30 years her junior; he later married and named his only daughter Elizabeth in her honour.[1] From 1910 until 1913 she was a mistress of the novelist H.G. Wells.[citation needed]

Elizabeth died in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1941, aged 74.

Literary career

In 1898 von Arnim started her literary career by publishing Elizabeth and Her German Garden, a semi-autobiographical novel published anonymously and, as it turned out to be highly successful. Von Arnim wrote another 20 books, which were all published "By the author of Elizabeth and Her German Garden."

Her 1922 novel, The Enchanted April, has been adapted five times: as a Broadway play in 1925; an unsuccessful feature film by RKO in 1935; an Academy Award-nominated feature film by Miramax in 1992; a Tony Award-nominated stage play in 2003; and a musical play in 2010.

Her 1940 novel, Mr. Skeffington was made into an Academy Award-nominated feature film by Warner Bros. in 1944, starring Bette Davis and Claude Rains; and a 60-minute "Lux Radio Theater" broadcast radio adaptation of the movie on 1 October 1945.

Select bibliography

  • Elizabeth and Her German Garden (1898)
  • The Solitary Summer (1899)
  • April Baby's Book of Tunes (1900) (Illustrated by Kate Greenaway)
  • The Benefactress (1901)
  • The Adventures of Elizabeth in Rugen (1904)
  • Princess Priscilla's Fortnight (1905)
  • Fräulein Schmidt and Mr Anstruther (1907) (an epistolary novel; see also Fräulein)
  • The Caravaners (1909)
  • The Pastor's Wife (1914)
  • Christine (1917) (written under the pseudonym Alice Cholmondeley)
  • Christopher and Columbus (1919)
  • In the Mountains (1920)
  • Vera (1921)
  • The Enchanted April (1922)
  • Love (1925)
  • Introduction to Sally (1926)
  • Expiation (1929)
  • Father (1931)
  • The Jasmine Farm (1934)
  • All the Dogs of My Life (autobiography, 1936)
  • Mr. Skeffington (1940)


  1. ^ Usborne, Karen (1986). "Elizabeth", the author of Elizabeth and her German garden. London: Bodley Head. ISBN 0-370-30887-5. 


  • de Charms, Leslie [Liebet Butterworth]. Elizabeth of the German Garden: A Biography (of Mary Annette Beauchamp, Countess von Arnim). London: Heinemann, 1958.
  • Eberle, Iwona (2011). Eve with a Spade: Women, Gardens, and Literature in the Nineteenth Century, with a Focus on Works by Elizabeth von Arnim. Munich: Grin. ISBN 978-3640843558
  • Juengling, Kirsten and Brigitte Rossbeck (1996). Elizabeth von Arnim; Eine Biographie. Frankfurt: Insel. ISBN 978-3458335405

Other biographies

  • Elizabeth of the German Garden (1958) (Leslie De Charms, a pseudonym for Elizabeth's daughter, Liebet)
  • Uncommon Arrangements, Seven Portraits of Married Life in London Literary Circles 1910–1939 (2008) (Katie Roiphe)

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

См. также в других словарях:

  • Elizabeth von Arnim — (* 31. August 1866 in Kirribilli Point bei Sydney, New South Wales, Australien; † 9. Februar 1941 in Charleston, South Carolina; eigentlich Mary Annette Beauchamp) war eine englische Schriftstellerin aus dem Commonwealth. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Elizabeth Von Arnim — (31 août 1866 à Sydney, Australie 9 février 1941 à Charleston, États Unis ) est une romancière anglaise. Sommaire 1 Sa vie 2 Son œuvre …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Elizabeth von arnim — (31 août 1866 à Sydney, Australie 9 février 1941 à Charleston, États Unis ) est une romancière anglaise. Sommaire 1 Sa vie 2 Son œuvre …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Elizabeth von Arnim — (31 août 1866 à Sydney, Australie 9 février 1941 à Charleston, États Unis) est une romancière anglaise. Sommaire 1 Sa vie 2 Son œuvre …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Elizabeth von Arnim — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Elizabeth von Arnim, de soltera Mary Annette Beauchamps (Sydney, Australia, 31 de agosto de 1866 Estados Unidos, 9 de febrero de 1941) fue una escritora británica. Elizabeth fue educada en Inglaterra. A los 24 años… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Von Arnim — may refer to: * Adolf Heinrich von Arnim Boitzenburg (1803 1868), German statesman * Arnulf von Arnim (born 1947), German classical pianist and teacher. * Bernd von Arnim (died 1927), German naval officer. * Bettina von Arnim (1785 1859), German… …   Wikipedia

  • Von Arnim — Wappen derer von Arnim Erbgrab der Familie von Arnim in Suckow (Uckermark) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Arnim — est le patronyme d une famille de la noblesse allemande, originaire de la Marche de l Ucker dans le Brandebourg. Elle a été fondée par Alardus de Arnem, en 1204. Sommaire 1 Histoire 2 Personnalités éminentes 3 Voir aussi …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Elizabeth and Her German Garden — is a novel by Elizabeth von Arnim, first published in 1898; it was very popular and frequently reprinted during the early years of the 20th century.The story is a year s diary written by the protagonist Elizabeth about her experiences learning… …   Wikipedia

  • Arnim (Adelsgeschlecht) — Wappen derer von Arnim Erbgrab der Familie von Arnim in Suckow (Uckermark) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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