"WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY BRENDA BOWEN A notice in The Timesaddressed to 'Those Who Appreciate Wistaria and Sunshine' advertises a 'small medieval Italian Castle to be let for the month of April'. Four very different women take up the offer- Mrs Wilkins and Mrs Arbuthnot, both fleeing unappreciative husbands; beautiful Lady Caroline, sick of being 'grabbed' by lovesick men; and the imperious, ageing Mrs Fisher. On the shores of the Mediterranean, beauty, warmth and leisure weave their spell, and nothing will ever be the same again. Published alongside a modern version of the same story entitled Enchanted August."
A funny, gentle bestseller from the 1920s
"An enchanting novel, witty, touching and very perceptively written, which will sweep you into wisteria and sunshine" -- Santa Montefiore "Elizabeth von Armin's most charming novel in every sense: it casts a spell...a sun-washed fairytale" Observer "A warm and uplifting book. (Very different from the kind I write!)...I remain in awe of a writer who can produce an enthralling story out of so little. When I'm plotting my books, I think of Von Arnim, and try to balance the dark with some lighter characterisation." -- S.J. Bolton "Filled with hazy hills and fragrant flora, the novel is a dreamily sensuous description of the glories of Italian spring" -- Adam Nicolson Mail on Sunday "This delicious confection will work its magic on all" Daily Telegraph
Elizabeth von Arnim was born on 31 August 1866 in Australia. She was cousin to the writer Katherine Mansfield. In 1890 she married her first husband, Count Henning August von Arnim-Schlagenthin, a Prussian aristocrat, with whom she had five children. Elizabeth and her German Garden, published anonymously in 1898, was a barely fictionalised account of Elizabeth's life and the creation of her garden at the family home of Nassenheide in Pomerania, where Hugh Walpole and E. M. Forster were tutors to her children. Its instant success was followed by many more novels, including Vera (1914) and The Enchanted April (1922), and another almost-autobiography, All the Dogs of My Life (1936). She separated from Count von Arnim in 1908, and after his death two years later she built a house in Switzerland, marrying John Francis Stanley Russell in 1916. This marriage also ended in separation in 1919 when Elizabeth moved to America, where she died on 9 February 1941, aged 74.