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Benefactress

Benefactress by Elizabeth von Arnim
By: (1866-1941)

Anna Estcourt, twenty-five and beautiful, is the penniless ward of her distant brother and his exasperating wife. Turning down all offers of marriage, scornful at the thought of leaning on a man for help and comfort, she thinks only of the independence which seems an impossible dream. But out of the blue Uncle Joachim, her mother's brother, leaves her a handsome property in Germany. Her longed for independence is within her grasp, and though it's a rocky beginning with the locals, she loves her new home. Keen to use her new-found wealth for the benefit of others, she embarks on a plan to throw open her doors to distressed gentlewomen - a project which takes a far greater physical and emotional toll than she could have imagined. Although she maintains that she is not interested in men, might the friendship of her neighbouring landowner, Axel Lohm, make her new life a little easier to bear?...

A warm, charming story which is packed with Elizabeth von Arnim's trademark humour and wry observation of character. It's also a perceptive critique of society's constraints on women, holding up a glass to all the artfulness and falseness of 'femininity' - but despite its strong feminist overtones, it manages simultaneously to be a wonderful romantic comedy!

First Page:

The Benefactress

BY THE AUTHOR OF "ELIZABETH AND HER GERMAN GARDEN"

New York THE MACMILLAN COMPANY LONDON: MACMILLAN & CO., Ltd. 1901

All rights reserved

Copyright, 1901, By THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.

Norwood Press J. S. Gushing & Co. Berwick & Smith Norwood Mass. U.S.A.

Man bedarf der Leitung Und der männlichen Begleitung.

WILHELM BUSCH.

THE BENEFACTRESS

CHAPTER I

When Anna Estcourt was twenty five, and had begun to wonder whether the pleasure extractable from life at all counterbalanced the bother of it, a wonderful thing happened.

She was an exceedingly pretty girl, who ought to have been enjoying herself. She had a soft, irregular face, charming eyes, dimples, a pleasant laugh, and limbs that were long and slender. Certainly she ought to have been enjoying herself. Instead, she wasted her time in that foolish pondering over the puzzles of existence, over those unanswerable whys and wherefores, which is as a rule restricted, among women, to the elderly and plain... Continue reading book >>


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