Fraulein Schmidt and Mr Anstruther is an absolute delight of a novel. Told in a series of letters from Rose-Marie Schmidt to Mr Anstruther it follows both Rose-Marie's life and their relationship. The dashing young Englishman, Mr Anstruther had come into Rose-Marie's life just before the correspondence started; he had lodged with her and her father for a year, and the pair had fallen in love. Before he returned to England, the pair had become engaged, although it had not been formally announced. But the relationship does not progress smoothly, and Mr Anstruther is forced to break off the engagement after his father is keen for him to marry another, more eligible spinster (one of the sub-plots of the letters is the Schmidt's impoverishment and their attempts to make do on a very small income, which includes adventures into vegetarianism (unsuccessful, leaving Rose-Marie and her father extremely hungry!) and other attempts to economise, all related in a very amusing fashion). But the story does not end there. That engagement also ends, and we find that Mr Anstruther and Rose-Marie still have feelings for each other. But will it work out? The end is surprisingly ambiguous. The storyline is well paced, and the wit and humour of the letters are just wonderful.
This title has been published just once, in the original green edition.
Sadly, I've only got one more VMC Elizabeth Von Arnim to read, her autobiography, All the dogs of my life. But the good news is that she has written a number of other books which Virago haven't yet published. I recently read Princess Priscilla's Fortnight which was absolutely hilarious and I'm looking forward to discovering more of her books. Hurrah for Virago introducing me to a truly wonderful author - I think she really is one of the discoveries of this reading project.