Elizabeth von Arnim

(1725 words)
  • Erica Brown (Sheffield Hallam University)

The novelist now published by Virago as “Elizabeth von Arnim” was born in Australia in 1866, and christened Mary Annette Beauchamp. Known in her childhood as May, she was the daughter of a wealthy shipping merchant who returned his family to London when May was three years old. Travelling in Europe aged twenty-four, she met Count Graf Henning August von Arnim-Schlagenthin; they returned to London to marry and May became Countess von Arnim. Their early married life was spent in Berlin; the difference between this highly restrictive, upper-class society and Elizabeth’s upper-middle class English upbringing was profound, and she struggled to acquire both the language and the necessary understanding of upper-class German etiquette. In …

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Brown, Erica. "Elizabeth von Arnim". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 May 2007; last revised 24 June 2009.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=155, accessed 30 September 2016.]