Skip to Content
The enchanted April

The enchanted April

Von Arnim, Elizabeth, 1866-1941, author

A discreet advertisement in The Times lures four very different women away from the dismal British weather to San Salvatore, a castle high above a bay on the sunny Italian Riviera. There, the Mediterranean spirit stirs the souls of Mrs Arbuthnot, Mrs Wilkins, Lady Caroline Dester and Mrs Fisher, and remarkable changes occur

Paperback, Book. English. Classics.
Published London: Vintage Classic, 2015
Rate this

Available at Camberwell, Dulwich and Peckham.

  • Camberwell – One available in FICTION

    Barcode Shelfmark Loan type Status
    26069091 FICTION Adult Fiction Available
  • Dulwich – One available in FICTION

    Barcode Shelfmark Loan type Status
    26067226 FICTION Adult Fiction Available
  • Peckham – One available in FICTION

    Barcode Shelfmark Loan type Status
    26062984 FICTION Adult Fiction Available
  • Canada Water – Earliest copy due back 7th June

    Barcode Shelfmark Loan type Status
    26060841 FICTION Adult Fiction Due back 7th June
  • John Harvard – Earliest copy due back 14th June

    Barcode Shelfmark Loan type Status
    26065851 FICTION Adult Fiction Due back 14th June


Statement of responsibility: Elizabeth Von Arnim
ISBN: 1784870463, 9781784870461
Physical Description: 170 pages ; 20 cm
Subject: Riviera (Italy) Social life and customs Fiction.; British Italy Riviera Fiction.

Author note

Elizabeth von Arnimwas 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, includingVera(1914) andThe 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.


"An enchanting novel, witty, touching and very perceptively written, which will sweep you into wisteria and sunshine"||"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."||"Filled with hazy hills and fragrant flora, the novel is a dreamily sensuous description of the glories of Italian spring"
Mail on Sunday||"This delicious confection will work its magic on all"
Daily Telegraph

Back cover copy


'Brims with magic and laughter'Guardian

A notice inThe 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.

See also:Enchanted Augustby Brenda Bowen