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Elizabeth von Arnim anniversary rose
150TH ANNIVERSARY ROSE: ‘ELIZABETH VON ARNIM’
To celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the author Elizabeth von Arnim’s birth, The International Elizabeth von Arnim Society has selected a beautiful new variety of rose from Dickson Roses to be named ‘Elizabeth von Arnim’.
This seems a highly appropriate way in which to remember her. In her first best-selling novel, Elizabeth and her German Garden (1898), Elizabeth von Arnim (1866 – 1941) tells how she creates a garden at Nassenheide in Pomerania, thus leading the reader into her imaginatively constructed world. She names eleven rose varieties to be planted in eleven beds around the sundial. These beds are to be surrounded by further beds in semi-circles, and still more beds by a group of beeches and lilacs.
She writes:“There is not a creature in all this part of the world who could in the least understand with what heart-beatings I am looking forward to the flowering of these roses...”
This famous novel, which celebrates the association between gardens and writing, led to a highly successful literary career in which over twenty works of her fiction were published. They include titles which are well-known to this day, such as The Enchanted April (1922) and Mr Skeffington (1939), both of which have been filmed. Most of her novels were published as being by ‘by the author of Elizabeth and her German Garden’.
Throughout her life she loved flowers, and gardens were always an inspiration to her. She knew many famous gardeners, including Gertrude Jekyll. In the 1930s, she moved to a house in Mougins, near Cannes in France, calling it the ‘Mas des Roses’. The magnificent garden there was, of course, filled with roses.
The International Elizabeth von Arnim Society was formed in September 2015 following a conference at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge, ‘Re-evaluating Elizabeth von Arnim’. The formation of this Society and its active membership marks a revival of interest in the life and works of this famous author, who was in her lifetime known more simply as ‘Elizabeth’.
Jennifer Walker, February 2016, Secretary, The International Elizabeth von Arnim Society
Author: Elizabeth of the German Garden – A Literary Journey (The Book Guild, 2013) For sale at: http://www.katherinemansfieldsociety.org/kms-shop/
For further details of the International Elizabeth von Arnim Society go to: (www.elizabethvonarnimsociety.org)