Elizabeth von Arnim - The Pastor's Wife - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9780349005201
    • Publication date:06 Mar 2014
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The Pastor's Wife

A Virago Modern Classic

By Elizabeth von Arnim

  • Paperback
  • £12.00

*A novel sparkling with von Arnim's characteristic wit and irony
*With an afterword by Lisa St Aubin de Teran

*With an Afterword by Lisa St Aubin de Teran

Ingeborg Bullivant, the put-upon daughter of the Bishop of Redchester, suddenly becomes possessed by the demon Rebellion and takes a week's tour to Lucerne. Constantly in the company of a ponderous German pastor, she is put into a quandary when he proposes marriage. Faced with her father's wrath on her return, however, Ingeborg accepts her Herr Dremmel with simple relief.

But the role of a pastor's wife in East Prussia is not as Ingeborg had imagined, for she has merely exchanged one set of rules for another ...

Biographical Notes

Elizabeth von Arnim was born in 1866 in Sydney, Australia, and brought up in England. She lived much of her life in Switzerland, entertaining guests such as H.G. Wells (with whom she had an affair) and her cousin, Katherine Mansfield. She died in 1941.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781844082803
  • Publication date: 02 Feb 2006
  • Page count: 496
  • Imprint: Virago
Elizabeth von Arnim is a mistress of irony — Lisa St Aubin de Teran
[von Arnim] was keenly aware of the powerlessness of an intelligent woman in a male-dominated world — Kate Saunders
A particular kind of witty and well constructed fiction, a sort of sparkling Euclid, which nobody else can touch — Rebecca West
Worldly, sharp, witty ... Try to write like that, and her gift will seem very enviable and elusive — Terence de Vere White
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Lucy Entwhistle's beloved father has just died, and aged twenty-two, she finds herself alone in the world. Leaning against her garden gate, dazed and unhappy, she is disturbed by the sudden appearance of the perspiring Mr Wemyss.This middle-aged man is also in mourning - for his wife, Vera, who has died in mysterious circumstances. Before Lucy can collect herself, Mr Wemyss has taken charge: of the funeral arrangements, of her kind Aunt Dot, but most of all of Lucy herself, body and soul. Elizabeth von Arnim's masterpiece, VERA is a forceful study of the power of men in marriage - and the weakness of women in love.

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As the First World War looms, Anna-Rose and Anna-Felicitas, seventeen-year-old orphan twins, are thrust upon relatives. But Uncle Arthur, a blustering patriot, is a reluctant guardian: the twins are half-German and, who knows, they could be spying from the nursery window... Packed off to America, they meet Mr Twist, a wealthy engineer with a tendency to motherliness, who befriends them on the voyage. However, he has failed to consider the pitfalls of taking such young and beautiful women under his wing, especially two who will continue to require this protection long after the ship has docked, and who are incapable of behaving with tact. Many adventures ensue (and befall them) in this sparklingly witty, romantic novel in which Elizabeth von Armin explores the suspicions cast upon the two Annas and Mr Twist in a country poised for war.

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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 me straight in the eyes, By heart. ' For the Major and his wife Edelgard, the idea of a holiday touring Southern England in a horse-drawn gypsy caravan seems perfect. As they begin their leisurely progress through its green and verdant countryside, the holiday spirit sets in. But England presents more than a contrast of scenery to this German couple - amongst the company of their English companions Edelgard seems to undergo a change of terperament, rebealing herself to be far less biddable than the upright Major had believed. The blossoming of hedgerows is one thing, but the blossoming of his wife is quite another ...

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I want to be alone for a whole summer, and get to the very dregs of life. I want to be as idle as I can, so that my soul may have time to grow. Nobody shall be invited to stay with me, and if anyone calls they will be told that I am out, or away, or sick . . . Wouldn't a whole lovely summer, quite alone, be delightful?'This delightful companion to the famous Elizabeth and her German Garden is a witty, lyrical account of a rejuvenating, solitary summer filled with books and Elizabeth's reflections on her beloved garden. Descriptions of magnificent larkspurs and burning nasturtiums give way to those of cooling forest walks. Yet the months aren't as solitary as she'd planned: there's still her husband to pacify and the April, May and June babies to amuse.

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May 7th -- There were days last winter when I danced for sheer joy out in my frost-bound garden in spite of my years and children. But I did it behind a bush, having a due regard for the decencies ...'Elizabeth's uniquely witty pen records each season in her beloved garden, where she escapes from the stifling routine of indoors: servants, meals, domestic routine, and the presence of her overbearing husband ...

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Beauty; beauty. What was the good of beauty, once it was over? It left nothing behind it but acid regrets, and no heart at all to start fresh.'Approaching the watershed of her fiftieth birthday, Fanny, having long ago divorced Mr Skeffington and dismissed him from her thoughts for many years, is surprised to find herself thinking of him often. While attempting to understand this invasion, she meets, through a series of coincidences and deliberate actions, all those other men whose hearts she broke. But their lives have irrevocably changed and Fanny is no longer the exquisite beauty with whom they were all once enchanted. If she is to survive, Fanny discovers, she must confront a greatly altered perception of her self.With the delicate piquancy for which she is renowned, Elizabeth von Arnim here reveals the complexities involved in the process of ageing and in re-evaluating self-worth.

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C M Taylor grew up in Yorkshire and Suffolk. He studied at Cambridge University, worked in TV in his twenties, and then in India, Belgium and Spain. He now lives in Oxford with his wife and daughter.

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Cath Staincliffe is an award winning novelist, radio playwright and creator of ITV's hit series Blue Murder. Cath's books have been shortlisted for the CWA Best First Novel award. She was joint winner of the CWA Short Story Dagger in 2012. Letters To My Daughter's Killer was selected for the Specsavers Crime Thriller Book Club on ITV3 in 2014. Cath also writes the Scott & Bailey books based on the popular ITV series. She lives with her family in Manchester.

Catherynne M. Valente

Catherynne M. Valente is the New York Times bestselling author of over two dozen works of fiction and poetry, including Palimpsest, the Orphan's Tales series, Deathless and the crowdfunded phenomenon The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. She is the winner of the Andre Norton, Tiptree, Mythopoeic, Rhysling, Lambda, Locus and Hugo awards. She has been a finalist for the Nebula and World Fantasy Awards. She lives on an island off the coast of Maine with a small but growing menagerie of beasts, some of which are human.

Christopher Ransom

Christopher Ransom is the author of internationally bestselling novels including The Birthing House and The People Next Door. He studied literature at Colorado State University and worked at Entertainment Weekly magazine in New York, and now lives near his hometown of Boulder, Colorado.

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DIANE JANES grew up in Birmingham and has lived in the north of England for the last twenty years. Between marrying and raising two children she worked in seemingly every field, from mortgages to engineering, until she gave up the day job to write full time. This resulted in two shortlistings for the CWA Debut Dagger and subsequent publication. The Pull of the Moon was shortlisted for the 2010 CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger.