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The Solitary Summer (1899)

por Elizabeth von Arnim

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

Séries: Elizabeth and Her German Garden (2)

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The Solitary Summer, by Elizabeth Von Arnim - Akasha Classics, AkashaPublishing.Com - May 2nd. - Last night after dinner, when we were in the garden, I said, "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 any one calls they will be told that I am out, or away, or sick. I shall spend the months in the garden, and on the plain, and in the forests. I shall watch the things that happen in my garden, and see where I have made mistakes. On wet days I will go into the thickest parts of the forests, where the pine needles are everlastingly dry, and when the sun shines I'll lie on the heath and see how the broom flares against the clouds. I shall be perpetually happy, because there will be no one to worry me. Out there on the plain there is silence, and where there is silence I have discovered there is peace."… (mais)
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After having fallen in love with The Enchanted April, I suppose I expected more from this earlier work. I recognized the tone and the whimsy of the later work, but I felt that it lacked the charm. And, of course, it definitely lacked much of anything resembling a plot which kept me from fully embracing it. I wouldn't have finished it had it not been so short to start with. ( )
  AliceAnna | Mar 19, 2022 |
This was a buddy read with Themis Athena.

The Solitary Summer is a follow up to Elizabeth and Her German Garden; they don't have to be read in any order, but Solitary Summer takes place in the same garden, about three years later.

I went into this book naively assuming that the "Solitary" in the title mean Elizabeth at home, alone, in her garden, for the entire summer. While I made allowances for servants, I figured she'd sent Man of Wrath and her three children off somewhere for the summer, either together or separately.

Shows what I know; the Solitary in the title means nothing of the sort. It simply means Elizabeth and her husband agree that for one summer, May through August, there will be no guests descending on the house, expecting Elizabeth to perform hostess duties. 100 years ago, I suppose that would feel like a kind of solitude, but personally, if I were being subjected to the daily demands of husband and three daughters, I'd have long before whipped out my Sharpie pen and blacked out the entry for 'solitude' in all my dictionaries and been done with the concept.

Moving on from my luxurious pre-conceived notions, the book is ostensibly about Elizabeth spending the summer in her garden, free from hostessing duties, and therefore free to loll about in her garden all day, book in hand, alternately reading and soaking in the paradise surrounding anyone in a garden, wood, and field. When she's not feeding her family, or handing out food to the servants, or entertaining her daughters. The solitary moments do happen, in May and most of June, but after a spate of gales whip through, the tone of the book alters perceptibly; less garden, more musings on philosophy, reading, morality, class and village life.

In my opinion, even though I picked this up in eager anticipation of the garden-geek-fest, it's the second half that should not be missed. Elizabeth is a rare breed; she's able to stand apart from herself, to see herself and events around her with objectivity, brutal honesty, and wry wit. She does not rationalise, she does not excuse or defend, she simply observes: this is they way things/I should be, this is the way things/I are(am). It's refreshing to hear this kind of voice, and if it doesn't make you think one way or the other, ... well, never mind. But the issues she addresses in her musings are at least as relevant today as they were 100 years ago, with the exception of enforced quartering of troops and servant housing.

From what little I know so far about Elizabeth von Arnim's background, her husband isn't what anyone today would call a gem; she calls him Man of Wrath for heaven's sake, and I doubt she's using the term ironically. But there are moments of accord between the two, as well as many scenes of shared humour and witty banter that lead me to suspect their relationship was far more complex than history will likely remember it being, and I'm eager to find out more about them both to see if my suspicions stand up to available facts.

Either way, I like her. I suspect, were we contemporaries and life brought us into each other's orbit, we'd be friends - or at least appreciate each other's love of nature, sarcasm, and our disdain for too many guests. ( )
  murderbydeath | Jan 17, 2022 |
What can I say, it's Elizabeth von Arnim, one of my favorite writers. Love her wriitng and this book was no exception. ( )
  MikeDI | Aug 29, 2018 |
Elizabeth von Arnim möchte einen Sommer lang allein verbringen, d.h. ohne sich um Gäse auf ihrem Gut kümmern zu müssen. Ihr Ehemann vermutet zwar, dass ihr das schnell zu langweilig wird, lässt sie aber gewähren.

Elizabeth beschreibt ihn ihrem Tagebuch ausführlich, wie sie ihren Garten und die Natur in Pommern zum Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts erlebt. Zwischendurch werden dann auch - zum Teil mit heutzutage nicht mehr vertretbaren Ansichten - die Lebensbedingungen und Gebräuche der auf dem Gut arbeitenden Bauern beschrieben (die Kluft zwischen Adel und Landbevölkerung war groß).

Alles in allem fließt der Text in Tagebuchform dahin, lässt sich gut lesen und gibt einen Einblick in das Leben auf dem Lande im ausklingenden 19. Jahrhundert - aus Gutsfrauensicht.
Das Buch ist der Nachfolger zu "Elizabeth und ihr Garten", lässt sich aber auch eigenständig lesen. ( )
  ahzim | Jul 31, 2017 |
This book came into my hands almost by accident, and I only read it because I enjoyed the author's "The Enchanted April". This one was apparently semi-autobiographical, and what I enjoyed most was the glimpse of life in turn-of-the-last-century Germany: the role of women in the various classes, their interactions with their children, ideas on healthcare, death and funerals, and even a glimpse into military life.

It's a quick read, and definitely worthwhile. ( )
  Gingermama | Jan 24, 2016 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Elizabeth von Arnimautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Desroussilles, François DupuigrenetTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Guglielmino, DanielaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Kellaway, DeborahIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Russell, Elizabeth Maryautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Schönfeldt, Sybil GräfinTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Schwartz, LeonoreTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Stoltenberg, AnnemariePosfácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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To THE MAN OF WRATH with some apologies and much love.
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May 2nd.--Last night after dinner, when we were in the garden, I said, "I want to be alone for a whole summer, and get to the very dregs of life.
On a late afternoon in May 1987, a young woman sat outside in the warm fresh air after a shower of rain and wrote: "I love my garden."
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A garden - that divine filter that filters all the grossness out of us, and leaves us, each time we have been in it, clearer, and purer, and more harmless.
These gardening books are an unfailing delight, especially in winter, when to sit by my blazing peat fire with the snow driving past the windows and read the luscious descriptions of roses and all the other summer glories is one of my greatest pleasures. And then how well I get to know and love those gardens whose gradual development has been described by their owners, and how happily I wander in fancy down the paths of certain specially charming ones in Lancashire, Berkshire, Surrey, and Kent, and admire the beautiful arrangement' of bed and border, and the charming bits in unexpected corners, and all the e.vidences of untiring love! Any book I see advertised that treats of gardens I immediately buy, and thus possess quite a collection of fascinating and instructive garden literature. A few are feeble, and get shunted off into the drawing-room ; but the others stay with me winter and summer, and soon lose the gloss of their new coats, and put on the comfortable look of old friends in every-day clothes, under the frequent touch of affection. They are such special friends that I can hardly pass them without a nod and a smile at the well known covers, each of which has some pleasant association of time and place to make it still more dear.
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The Solitary Summer, by Elizabeth Von Arnim - Akasha Classics, AkashaPublishing.Com - May 2nd. - Last night after dinner, when we were in the garden, I said, "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 any one calls they will be told that I am out, or away, or sick. I shall spend the months in the garden, and on the plain, and in the forests. I shall watch the things that happen in my garden, and see where I have made mistakes. On wet days I will go into the thickest parts of the forests, where the pine needles are everlastingly dry, and when the sun shines I'll lie on the heath and see how the broom flares against the clouds. I shall be perpetually happy, because there will be no one to worry me. Out there on the plain there is silence, and where there is silence I have discovered there is peace."

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