The Life of High Countess Gritta von Ratsinourhouse

The Life of High Countess Gritta von Ratsinourhouse

( German title - Das Leben der Hochgraftin Gritta von Rattenzurhausbeiuns - 1840 )

novel by Bettina von Arnim and Gisela von Arnim Grimm

translated by Lisa Ohm

Publsihed: University of Nebraska Press - hardback - 1999
ISBN: 080324665X / 9780803246652

University of Nebraska Press - trade paperback - 1999
ISBN: 0803296207 / 9780803296206

The story of the adventures of twelve young girls. Gritta, neglected by her father, is uprooted when her new stepmother insists she enter a convent school. Strictly supervised by the nun Sequestra, Gritta slips into melancholy. A mishandled bird, however, awakens Gritta to the realization that she and her friends must flee their walled-in life. Following her heart and employing her wits, Gritta leads the escape. The runaway girls are eventually shipwrecked near the principality of Sumbona. They establish a Robinson Crusoe–like existence and later found their own cloister.
Their community is sustained by the industry and talents of each of the girls. Mayeli paints, Harmony composes, and Wildberry, an herbalist, learns nature’s secrets and gains access to supernatural powers that will guarantee the future of the community. Gritta chooses to marry Prince Bonus of Sumbona, but when she sees the twelve cells in the cloister, she realizes with a pang of longing that she will never occupy the one meant for her.


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