Read The Caravaners by Elizabeth von Arnim Free Online
Book Title: The Caravaners|
The author of the book: Elizabeth von Arnim
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 329 KB
Edition: Little Brown and Company
Date of issue: May 27th 1989
ISBN 13: 9781853810015
Read full description of the books:Pick the person in your personal life who annoys and angers you the most and imagine writing a novel exclusively from their perspective. E.V.A. seems to have done exactly that (wasn't she unhappily married to a German Count?). It seems more than likely this novel came of that relationship - certainly this was a character type she knew through and through. Her narration of Otto's inner life is amazing - she had me laughing so hard at times, but as the story unfolds, the humour (for me) lessens, becomes more serious in tone, possibly because the focus widens to the effect Otto has on the people around him. And there is always the lingering sense of the fact that although everyone else on the caravan holiday can walk away from him, his wife Edelgard is facing a lifetime of His Horribleness.
Nothing cuts so deep as humour can - and my Gosh, E.V.A. hits hard. This is the way to vent one's spleen!
"I stood in the narrow gangway lighting a cigar, and when I had done lighting it I realised that I was close to her and alone...I put out my arm, therefore, and proposed to draw her towards me as a preliminary to peace.
She would not, however, come.
Greatly surprised - for resentment had not till then been one of her failings - I opened my mouth to speak, but she, before I could do so, said, "Do you mind not smoking in the caravan?" Still more surprised, and indeed amazed (for this was petty) but determined not to be shaken out of my kindness, I gently began, "Dear wife -" and was going on when she interrupted me.
"Dear husband," she said, actually imitating me, "I know what you are going to say. I always know what you are going to say. I know all the things you ever can or ever do say."
She paused for a moment, and then added in a firm voice, looking at me straight in the eyes, "By heart".
E.V.A. is quite innovative as a writer, if you ask me, and I don't know that she's been given much credit for it. The way she handles POV ("In the Mountains" has a "confiding" - for lack of a better word - approach that I've not seen the like of before)is unique to herself. It makes this book, for sure. Entering the mind of a completely unimaginative man takes skill and endurance beyond - well, beyond.
Read information about the authorElizabeth, Countess Russell, was a British novelist and, through marriage, a member of the German nobility, known as Mary Annette Gräfin von Arnim.
Born Mary Annette Beauchamp in Sydney, Australia, she was raised in England and in 1891 married Count Henning August von Arnim, a Prussian aristocrat, and the great-great-great-grandson of King Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia.
She had met von Arnim 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 von 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.
In 1898 she started her literary career by publishing Elizabeth and Her German Garden, a semi-autobiographical novel about a rural idyll published anonymously and, as it turned out to be highly successful, reprinted 21 times within the first year. Von Arnim wrote another 20 books, which were all published "By the author of Elizabeth and Her German Garden".
Count von Arnim died in 1910, and in 1916 Elizabeth married John Francis Stanley Russell, 2nd Earl Russell, Bertrand Russell's elder brother. The marriage ended in disaster, with Elizabeth escaping to the United States and the couple finally agreeing, in 1919, to get a divorce. She also had an affair with H. G. Wells.
She was a cousin of Katherine Mansfield (whose real name was Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp).
Elizabeth von Arnim spent her old age in London, Switzerland, and on the French Riviera. When World War II broke out she permanently took up residence in the United States, where she died in 1941, aged 74.
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