"Elizabeth": The Enchanted April
(researched by Nancy McElwain)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description
1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)
"Elizabeth". THE ENCHANTED APRIL. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1923. Copyright: Doubleday, Page & Co. Parallel first editions: In England: THE ENCHANTED APRIL. London: Macmillan & Co., limited 1922 In U.S.: THE ENCHANTED APRIL. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1923.
2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?
First American edition published in trade cloth binding.
3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available
4 Pagination
161 leaves, pp.(4)1-313
5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?
Neither edited nor introduced but has advertisement for other books by "Elizabeth" on verso-side of the first leaf.
6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?
Color plate on glossy paper stock facing title page. Reprint of wartercolor drawing by the Honorable Lady Mallet.
7 JPEG image of sample illustration, if available
8 General physical appearance of book (Is the physical presentation of the text attractive? Is the typography readable? Is the book well printed?)
Book in fairly good condition, with some staining and yellowing. Chapters are numbered with roman numerals. Chapters begin with a titling letter double the standard size with the remainder of the first word and second word in caps. Readability is fair with wide bottom and outer margins, with a moderately sized serif print. 88R. Book size: 190cm by 12cm Size of text: 13.5cm by 8.7cm
9 JPEG image of sample chapter page, if available
10 Paper (Assess the original quality of the paper used for the book. Is the paper in the copy or copies you examined holding up physically over time?)
Paper is woven with one leaf (illustration) on glossy stock. The paper is in good condition, notwithstanding some staining and yellowing.
11 Description of binding(s)
The binding is a trade-cloth with a dotted-line grain. The cloth on the front is a moderately faded red with some yellow threading beginning to show. The front cover has yellow stamped print. The side binding is much more faded and appears orange-red rather than red and the print is stamped in black. Transcription on cover: THE | ENCHANTED | APRIL Transcription on spine: THE | ENCHANTED | APRIL | by | The Author Of | "ELIZABETH | AND HER GERMAN GARDEN" | (centered at bottom) DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & CO.
12 Transcription of title page
Transcription of recto: The text is enclosed in three concentric rectangles, with the two inner rectangles stamped in black and the outer in red-orange. THE | ENCHANTED | APRIL | By the author of | "ELIZABETH | AND HER GERMAN GARDEN" | (image stained with words "Fructus Quan Folia") | GARDEN CITY NEW YORK | DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & CO. | 1923 Transcription on verso-side (centered at bottom): COPYRIGHT, 1923, BY | DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & CO. | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, INCLUDING THAT OF TRANSLATION | INTO FOREIGN LANGUAGES, INCLUDING THE SCANDANAVIAN | PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES | AT | THE COUNYY LIFE PRESS, GARDEN CITY, NY
13 JPEG image of title page, if available
14 Manuscript Holdings
Unable to find information.
15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)
Assignment 2: Publication and Performance History
1 Did the original publisher issue the book in more than one edition? If so, briefly describe distinguishing features of each (illustrations, cover art, typography, etc.); if not, enter N/A
Deluxe edition released in 1923, which was limited to 377 signed copies. ONE THING IN COMMON: a collection of three novels. 1st ed. New York, Doubleday, Doran and co., 1941, 396 p., 20 cm.
2 JPEG image of cover art from one subsequent edition, if available
3 JPEG image of sample illustration from one subsequent edition, if available
4 How many printings or impressions of the first edition?
Doubleday, Page, & co. 1924-Garden City: 313p., col. front, 21 cm 1925-Garden City: 313p., 20 cm. Doubleday, Doran 1941- Garden City, N.Y.: 313 p. : ill. ; 20 cm.
5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A
Macmillon & Co. 1922, 1928-London, limited ed., 361p., col. front, 21" 1929-pocket edition 1946-361p. Hamilton 1973-London: 221 p., 21 cm., reprint Macmillon 1922 Pocket Books 1992-New York: 316 p., 18 cm, impression of 1922 Macmillon Virago ed. offset from Macmillan 1922 ed. 1986, 1992-London: 361p., 20cm with a new introduction by Terence de Vere Grosset & Dunlap 1923-New York, 3 p.l, 313p., 19.5cm Tauchnitz Collection of British and American Authors Vol 4594 1922, 1923-Leipzig: copyright edition, 271p. 17cm 1937-Leipzig: 271p. 18cm Curtis Books 1973-New York: 256p. 18cm Heinemann guided readers 1992-Tarner, Margaret, Oxford, Portsmouth, NH: 79 p., ill., 20 cm. Washington Square Press (pocket books) 1995-New York: 314 p. ; 21 cm. (trade pbk. print) Thorndike Press 1996-Thorndike, Me: 332 p., 22 cm. (lg. print, 1sc, alk. paper)
6 Last date in print?
current as of February 2000
7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)
Unable to find information, though 40,000 copies sold by March 10, 1923 (from March 10th ed. of PUBLISHER"S WEEKLY)
8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)
40,000 by March 10, 1923 (from March 10th PUBLISHER"S WEEKLY ad)
9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)
from Jan. 6, 1923 PUBLISHER"S WEEKLY (p. 14 microfiche) Elizabeth (ital.) | (author of "Elizabeth | and her German Garden", etc.) | THE ENCHANTED APRIL | (illustration on the left side--drawing of castle by Arthur Rackham) "As witty a book as we have read in a | year| -Heywood Brown | "Will be enormously popular and will deserve its popularity to the full"| -London Telegraph | "It promises to be a grand, elegant book" | F.P.A. (from an enthusiastic report on | only a partial reading) | (ill. ends) "The reader lays it down with a satisfied smile, thinking to what | fastidious friend it should be sent on | Katherine Perry Shaw in THE BOOK REVIEW | Price $1.50 | Deluxe edition, limited to 377 signed copies $10
10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available
11 Other promotion
PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY from Jan. 6, 1923 from p. 31 (under New Publication listings) "Elizabeth", pseud. [Arnim, Mary Annette | Beauchamp, Grafin von, Countess Russell] | THE ENCHANTED APRIL 313p. front (col) D | c. Garden City NY Doubleday, Page | $1.90 | A novel in "Elizabeth's" most characteristic vein | and similar in style to her "Christopher and Columbus" | a witty story of a month in the lives of four | women in an old Italian castle, two unselfish with | a keen sense of humor, the other two selfish with no | sense of humor
12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A
AUDIO 1994-Ashland, OR: Blackstone Audio Books, read by Nadia May 1994-Niagara Falls, NY: Durkin Hayes, read by Josie Lawrence 1996-Bath, England: Sterling Audio, read by Eleanor Bron, PLAY Campbell, Kane. "THE ENCHANTED APRIL: A comedy in a prologue and three acts". New York: S. French, 1927, 136p., illus., 19cm. SCREENPLAY Hoffenstein, Samuel. THE ENCHANTED APRIL. New York: RKO Studios, 1934, 129p. [i.e. 137] f. 28 cm. Note: Cover-title. At head of title: RKO Studios, Inc., production no.28-445. Reproduced from typewritten copy. Note: Harris, Ray-- joint author. VIDEO 1992-movie for BBC television (see below) 1992-Miramax film, 93 min., Hi-Fi, Dolby surround, digitally processed." Based on the novel by Elizabeth Von Arnim. Director-Mike Newell, producer-Ann Scott, screenplay-Peter Barnes, photography-Rex Maidment, music-Richard Rodney Bennett. Joan Plowright, Miranda Richardson, Josie Lawrence Polly Walker note: rereleased 1997
13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A
(France) AVRIL ENCHANT?. Paris: Salvy, 1990, 1990, 367p, 20cm (Germany) VERZAUBARTER APRIL:ROMAN. Frankfurt: Insel, 1992, 2ed, 273p., 19cm. (Italy) UN INCANTEVOLE APRILE. (no city listed)Beringvieri, 1993. (Netherlands) DE BETOVERING APRIL. (no city) Geus, Uitgevrig (Poland) ZARCZAROWANY KWIECIEN. Warsaw: RYTM, 1998, 227p. 21cm (Spain) UN ABRIL ENCANTADO. Madrid: Alfaguara, 1994, 330p, 24cm, serial VIDEO (France) AVRIL ENCHANT?. Paris: Delta Video, 1994. note: produced in 1991 by BBC Film Production with Miramax and Greenpoint Films subtitled
14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A
Spanish translation is the only serial. See question 13.
15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A
N/A
Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author
1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)
Mary Annette Beauchamp, or May as her family called her, was born in Sydney, Australia in 1866 into a wealthy family that can claim among its relations Katherine Mansfield, Mary's cousin. (galeLit) Mary's father, an English merchant, made his career in Australia, and then returned to England when Mary was three (galeLit). The remainder of Mary's childhood was spent in London, save three years in Lausanne, Switzerland. Mary's education varied between governesses, girl's school's where she excelled in history, and finally the Royal College of Music where she studied the organ (galeLit). While traveling in Italy with her father in 1889, she met Count Henning August von Arnim-Schlagenthin and married him a year later. They moved to Berlin for five years and then to the Count's family estate in Pomerania, an area between Poland and Germany. Mary used the events and tranquility of this life as inspiration to write and publish, and each novel became a highly praised bestseller, including Elizabeth and her German Garden (20th Century Lit., 123). Meanwhile, she and the Count had five children, four girls and a boy, and their tutors included celebrities such as E.M. Forster and Hugh Walpole (members.aol.com). In 1908, however, debts forced the von Arnims to move back to England where they lived until the Count died in 1910. Mary and the children remained in England for two more years and then moved to the Chalet Soleil in Switzerland, where visitors included H.G. Wells (a lover), Katherine Mansfield, and Hugh Walpole (members.aol.com). In 1916, Mary married Lord Francis Russell, but the marriage was troubled and they separated after one year and divorced after three years. Mary later writes a scathing and humorous critique of Russell in Vera. She continued to write and move between England, the French Riviera, and Switzerland until the outbreak of World War II when she fled to the United States. She remained in the United States until her death on February 9,1941 at the age of seventy-five in Charleston, South Carolina. Mary Russell wrote twenty-one books, including The Enchanted April, which was written in 1922 after an actual visit to the castle of San Salvatore in Italy. She wanted to write a happy book after the difficulties of her second marriage (members.aol.com). Her books were penned under the pseudonyms of either Alice Cholmandeley or "author of Elizabeth and her German Garden" or simply "Elizabeth". Though extremely popular during her lifetime, Mary believed that her success was short-lived and that her books would not survive the years, a fact contested by the success of the movie version of The Enchanted April. Works Cited http://members.aol.com/jarmode/vonArnim.html GaleLit database (www.galenet.com under "Russell") 20th Century Literary Criticism vol. 41
Assignment 4: Reception History
1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
Though THE ENCHANTED APRIL was a huge popular success gaining Book-of the-month status, it garnered mixed reviews from critics. In THE ENCHANTED APRIL, Arnim turns "to happier things, to wisteria and sunshine and the miracle that scenic loveliness works on tired humans" (Cooper). This theme of "sunshine and wisteria" created a chasm between two camps of critics: those who felt the book was cloying and saccharine, and those who thought it was beautiful and witty. Heywood Brown thought it was "as witty a book as we have read in a year" (as quoted in ad in NY TIMES BOOK REVIEW, Jan. 14, 1923, p. 27), and Chris Morley found it a "comedy of absolutely flawless mirth . . .a very beautiful . . . and touching book" (ad in NY TIMES BOOK REVIEW, Jan. 28, 1923, p. 22). LIFE proclaimed it "the kind of book over which you will find yourself laughing aloud" (ad March 25, 1923 NY TIMES BOOK REVIEW, p. 21). Unlike Morley and Brown who thought the book was extremely witty and well-written, Louise Field from the NY TIMES BOOK REVIEW denounced it as containing "some cleverness, occasional touches of charm, and a great deal of sentimentalizing" (Jan. 7, p. 17). She did believe the book had some merits, however, in that the "there are some amusing bits," the "characters are sufficiently individualized, and many of the descriptions are very lovely". Other critics such as Rebecca West from the NEW STATESMAN shared Field's opinion avowing it "lapsed back into the unplumbed seas of artificial femininity" (from the Dec. 2, 1922 ed. as quoted in GaleLit Database, p. 6). The critics' words were not as strong as popular taste, however, as the book has continued to endure even the test of time. Sample Excerpts: "It suffers from being a great deal too long drawn out. But it is a pleasant, if somewhat saccharine, little story, with some neat phrasing and a genuine feeling for color and for beauty" --Louise Field " . . .extraordinarily well written--that goes without saying; it is witty, human, often very beautiful-again I need not have mentioned that; but what is surprising is that there is no bitterness in it, no serpent under the flowers of San Salvatore--and what flowers they are!" (from PUNCH Nov. 22, 1922, p.503-4)
2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
Though THE ENCHANTED APRIL was a huge popular success gaining Book-of the-month status, it garnered mixed reviews from critics. In THE ENCHANTED APRIL, Arnim turns "to happier things, to wisteria and sunshine and the miracle that scenic loveliness works on tired humans" (Cooper). This theme of "sunshine and wisteria" created a chasm between two camps of critics: those who felt the book was cloying and saccharine, and those who thought it was beautiful and witty. Heywood Brown thought it was "as witty a book as we have read in a year" (as quoted in ad in NY TIMES BOOK REVIEW, Jan. 14, 1923, p. 27), and Chris Morley found it a "comedy of absolutely flawless mirth . . .a very beautiful . . . and touching book" (ad in NY TIMES BOOK REVIEW, Jan. 28, 1923, p. 22). LIFE proclaimed it "the kind of book over which you will find yourself laughing aloud" (ad March 25, 1923 NY TIMES BOOK REVIEW, p. 21). Unlike Morley and Brown who thought the book was extremely witty and well-written, Louise Field from the NY TIMES BOOK REVIEW denounced it as containing "some cleverness, occasional touches of charm, and a great deal of sentimentalizing" (Jan. 7, p. 17). She did believe the book had some merits, however, in that the "there are some amusing bits," the "characters are sufficiently individualized, and many of the descriptions are very lovely". Other critics such as Rebecca West from the NEW STATESMAN shared Field's opinion avowing it "lapsed back into the unplumbed seas of artificial femininity" (from the Dec. 2, 1922 ed. as quoted in GaleLit Database, p. 6). The critics' words were not as strong as popular taste, however, as the book has continued to endure even the test of time. Sample Excerpts: "It suffers from being a great deal too long drawn out. But it is a pleasant, if somewhat saccharine, little story, with some neat phrasing and a genuine feeling for color and for beauty" --Louise Field " . . .extraordinarily well written--that goes without saying; it is witty, human, often very beautiful-again I need not have mentioned that; but what is surprising is that there is no bitterness in it, no serpent under the flowers of San Salvatore--and what flowers they are!" (from PUNCH Nov. 22, 1922, p.503-4)
Assignment 5: Critical Analysis
1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)
Though the ENCHANTED APRIL by Elizabeth Arnim was only ranked on the bestsellers list for one year, 1923, it has had a substantial impact on people throughout the years. THE ENCHANTED APRIL relates the story of four women who undergo a transition to love and happiness after spending a month in a beautiful castle in Italy. THE ENCHANTED APRIL serves as a key in helping people and the publishing world understand what a successful book entails, in that it can be typecast into several categories common to many bestsellers. THE ENCHANTED APRIL is not simply a formula novel, however, written in a type in order to ensure success. It breaks the mold in several aspects, proving that there are always exceptions to every rule or category, especially those concerning potential success. The success of THE ENCHANTED APRIL helps demonstrate the power publishing houses have in creating bestsellers. Large publishing firms have the money and the influence to widely promote novels and authors, and Page & Doubleday's tactic for marketing THE ENCHANTED APRIL was no different. The book was greatly advertised in various publications, including weekly advertisements in the NY TIMES BOOK REVIEW and PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY. This helped inspire people who might not have any prior experience with Arnim's writing to read the novel. THE ENCHANTED APRIL was also chosen as a Book-of-the-month Club choice, which always helps to sell a mass quantity of books quickly, as is shown by the extreme contemporary example of Oprah's Book Club (Galenet). Page & Doubleday's efforts may have been what propelled the book to a bestseller status as the novel was an oddity on the list. lightweight fiction and romances had ceased to dominate in 1921, leading to a resurgence of realism, and an American creative renaissance (Hackett, 111). THE ENCHANTED APRIL was able to remain popular and publishable throughout the years by its periodic adaptations as a stage play in 1925 and then movies in 1935 and 1992. The 1992 movie particularly promoted the novel as it was well timed amid the trend of adapting old British novels for movie format. The early 90s served as a market for such movies as was shown by the success of THE ENCHANTED APRIL, HOWARDS END, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, and ROOM WITH A VIEW. The most obvious formula used by the author and her publisher, Page and Doubleday, is to advertise the novel in reference to the author's earlier successes. An earlier novel by the author, ELIZABETH AND HER GERMAN GARDEN, was a huge success, garnering credit from both readers and critics, and this popularity was used to ensure the popularity of THE ENCHANTED APRIL. When published, the novel was credited to "the author of ELIZABETH AND HER GERMAN GARDEN". This guaranteed that fans of ELIZABETH AND HER GERMAN GARDEN would notice and purchase the novel as had already been used and proved helpful for the sales of Arnim's earlier novels, including CHRISTOPHER AND COLUMBUS, which was on the bestsellers' list in 1919. Critics helped promote the connection of the two novels by comparing them, sometimes in THE ENCHANTED APRIL's favor. In his 1941 critique, Arlo Williams claimed that the novel is "rivaled by none of her others, except perhaps (ital. added) ELIZABETH AND HER GERMAN GARDEN" (TCLC, vol. 42, p. 124). While most current bestseller credit the true author, publishers still practice the trick of including bylines that tell the reader of the novelists' previous successes. Toni Morrison novels' are bylined with "by the author of BELOVED" and Robert James Waller's novel SLOW WALTZ IN CEDAR BEND is bylined "Best-selling author of THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY". Authors find success much easier after writing one successful novel, as is shown through the quick selling of Waller's second novel. (Case in point: my roommate purchased SLOW WALTZ IN CEDAR BEND because Waller had also written THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY). Capitalizing on previous bestsellers aids in creating a new bestseller as many readers find it easier to simply buy a book from an author they have heard of and enjoyed in the past, rather than trying a new author. This is again shown by the rampant success of all the books released by authors like Tom Clancy, John Grisham, and Mary Higgins Clark. It is too hard to go looking for a book by an unknown author as the reader is unsure whether the book will be suitable or enjoyable. As David Gerne said: "If you walk into a superstore, that's where being a brand makes so much more of a difference. There is so much more choice it's overwhelming. The brand name author is a safe haven" (Gladwell, 49). Though this book refers more to this era of the super-bookstore, it still holds true for all bestsellers. People like to read "sure things", things they know they will enjoy and that other people have reviewed and enjoyed. Novels often employ formulaic techniques to ensure future bestsellers. A reader can always count on Grisham's novels to be law thrillers in which the little hero overcomes the bad or amoral conglomerate, just as Clancy's fans know all his novels will be spy thrillers. Like these prolific writers, Arnim employs a certain stylistic formula so as not to disappoint her following. She frequently wrote about "charming people and peaceful setting" while using wit and irony to expose the underlying tensions in relationships, especially male-female relationships (Galenet). Her books generally center on female characters (in order to garner the female audience) dealing with the problem of loneliness, drabness, and unhappiness, and suggest that interpersonal connections and beauty can grant fulfillment. The main characters are also often middle or working class, thereby increasing the number of people who would feel a connection to the characters and enjoy reading the novel. Arnim does partially break from her mold, however, in that THE ENCHANTED APRIL is the most lighthearted of her books, "turning to happier things like wisteria and sunshine" (Cooper), where problems that would be "intractable in other novels are resolved under the Italian sunshine" (Galenet). In THE ENCHANTED APRIL, readers find a lighthearted book filled with beauty and an ultimate happy ending; and as the American success of MY FAIR LADY and failure of PYGMALIAN show, American need and love a happy ending. Readers, particularly female readers, tend to enjoy "escapist", romantic literature above other types of literature. Most people read to get away from the ugliness and melancholy of their lives. They want to read something upbeat, flowing, and happy, so that when they finish the novel they will feel reinvigorated and ready to reface the world. One reader from Salt Lake City claimed THE ENCHANTED APRIL was better and "cheaper than therapy" (Amazon.com). Page and Doubleday really marketed the "happiness" of THE ENCHANTED APRIL, never failing to call it a book of "wisteria and sunshine". Many novels succeed due to this escapist trend, including SCARLET-the sequel to GONE WITH THE WIND, and the Judith Krantz novels. It is far easier to read about the resolution of someone else's problems than to deal with one's own problems. The idiom "misery loves company" certainly holds true for bestseller; people enjoy reading about characters facing horrific problems because then they can derive hope from the ultimate resolutions of the characters' problems. One reason this escapist tendency particularly aided sales was the timing of the publication. These novels particularly do well in the summer vacation months as they are good beach reading, and the publishers capitalized on this trend by timing the American release for January so that it would be at its "word-of-mouth" or recommendation zenith by summer. Also, the novel was released in America in 1923, not long after the end of World War I, and its "idyllic close reflects a longing for healing of the psychological scars left by the War" (Galenet). The beauty in the novel contrasts with the ugliness and marred landscape left by the war, and allows people to imagine a place untouched by any disfigurement. Like POLLYANNA, another novel from the war-era, people enjoyed THE ENCHANTED APRIL precisely because it had no political agenda, and unlike the real world, happiness always wins. On another plane, THE ENCHANTED APRIL helps demonstrate the successful formula of transition novels, meaning the characters' transitions from a status of active unhappiness, almost misery, to a state of perpetual bliss. This novel opens with the four women, and their applicable spouses, living a dull, unhappy existence. The women come together after finding a rental castle, San Salvatore, in Italy and each finds serenity, inner beauty, and happiness from the external beauty of the surroundings. The change is staggered as each character takes different amounts of time to "metamorphosize" or to be enchanted into happiness. This technique of staggering is employed to keep the reader interested in the characters and the plot line until the total happy denouement has been reached. If all the characters were to change at once then the novel would lose any and all believability and the reader would lose interest. While most people enjoy happy endings, most do not enjoy reading entire books about characters who do nothing but be happy; it is boring. This transitional technique can be found in many novels, including GREEN DOLPHIN STREET and almost any novel by Danielle Steele or other romance novelist. While THE ENCHANTED APRIL is a whimsical fairy tale-esque story, it is not merely a shallow piece of fluff. Unlike other lighthearted, happy-ending novels such as POLLYANNA, Judith Krantz's novels, and the James Bond novels among others, Arnim tries to convey a deeper meaning. She utilizes the characters and their contrasting personalities to go beyond the stock character, and to portray the eccentricities and hardships of male-female relationships. Arnim uses a sharp wit and a lot of irony to exemplify that THE ENCHANTED APRIL cannot be classified as a harmless romance; it has a biting social commentary too. Each character is a bit of a farce of a type found in society, and Arnim softly mocks their complaints (such as the beautiful woman who complains about getting complements) and makes the causes of their happiness seem ridiculous. The reader finishes the novel thinking that there are no insolvable problems; seeing the beauty in things can overcome any obstacle. Much of the novel's success is owed to its conveyance of the beautiful surrounding, however. Reading about foreign lands allows people to believe in stories that would otherwise be unbelievable. One can almost believe it possible for people to undergo drastic changes for the better when it occurs in a different place, especially if that place is portrayed as an Eden of sorts. The theme of finding love and happiness in a foreign land is not novel to THE ENCHANTED APRIL, but is rather an old, well-used standard for novelists. E.M. Forster repeatedly used this formula in books such as PASSAGE TO INDIA, and ROOM WITH A VIEW. A more contemporary example is the novel SCARLET; Scarlet only finds happiness after moving to Ireland and seeing the beauty there. As the years have passed, this category of the "foreign realistic romance" has been amended so that the novel need not be set in a foreign country so much as a setting "foreign" to most readers. The success of BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY is partly due to the setting of the novel. Most contemporary readers of the novel lived in cities or suburbs; they are neither farmers nor familiar with farmland, so the setting seems more conducive to inspiring romance through its beauty. THE ENCHANTED APRIL teaches the publishing and writing industry several key things about formulating a bestseller. Elizabeth Arnim and Doubleday & Page made sure to market the book in the most opportune way possible. They rode on the coattails of Arnim's earlier success by crediting the novel to "The Author of ELIZABETH AND HER GERMAN GARDEN", which was a big hit. They also highly advertised the novel as an escape from the bleakness of life into a world of "wisteria and sunshine". How could people not succumb to the hype in that post-war atmosphere? Unfortunately, though the novel did contain some depth beneath the shallow, pretty description, it could not last on the bestseller list. All the hard work could not overcome the new American interest in realism. The novel has survived throughout the ages, however, and continues to teach us about what it takes to be a bestseller. Sources: Hacket, Alice. "Bestsellers in the Bookstore" from BOOKSELLING IN AMERICA AND THE WORLD ch. 4. Gladstone. "Science of the Sleeper" from NEW YORKER Oct. 4, 1999. Amazon.com TCLC vol. 41
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