Elisabeth Castonier

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Elisabeth Castonier (born Borchardt, March 6, 1894 in Dresden ; died September 24, 1975 in Munich ) was a German writer. The emigration after the seizure of power took her to England via Austria and Italy. According to the FemBio lexicon, your books are written with humor and warmth . This kind of upscale entertainment is rather rare in German literature and not very respected in literary criticism. Nonetheless, Castonier's stories from the Mill Farm farm and her memoirs, published in 1964, achieved high print runs from stormy to cheerful .

life and work

The daughter of an eccentric mother and the painter Felix Borchardt spent her childhood and youth in Dresden, Paris and Berlin.

During the First World War , she left her parents' house because she could not get along with a new stepmother and went to Munich, where she edited in a publishing house and began to write herself. In 1923 she married the Danish opera singer Paul Castonier, from whom she divorced in 1934 "without a grudge".

In 1928 Castonier made his debut with a crime novel. Her novel Frau, Knecht, Magd appears in sequels in the Berliner Tageblatt in 1932 . She also writes articles for various domestic and later foreign newspapers, including the Berliner Wochenschrift Tage-Buch . Her drama Die Sardinenfischer was banned by the new National Socialist authorities shortly after its premiere (February 1933) at the Free Volksbühne in Berlin . Your works are on the list of “unwanted” books.

According to her later memoirs , she stated in a questionnaire from the Association of German Writers in the spring of 1933 that she had a half-Jewish father and was a Danish citizen. Since the parents of their father, the banker and lawyer Maximilian Siegfried Borchardt and his wife Helene, geb. Saling had both been of Jewish faith up to their conversion to Protestantism , this statement must be corrected, as Dagmar Frings and Jörg Kuhn were able to demonstrate in their book about the Borchardt family in Berlin. It is Castonier himself who was considered half-Jewish according to the Nazi definition.

She emigrated to Vienna, Positano (Italy) and London and wrote several children's books illustrated by Walter Trier , which are published in English. In 1944 she refused a permanent position as an interpreter that was offered to her, but decided to settle in Alton (Hampshire) on the small farm of her friend Jane Napier, whose great love for animals she shares. She does stable and field work. From 1950 she corresponded with Mary Tucholsky . At osteoarthritis suffering and a spinal injury, it contracts along with Napier in 1955 to a cottage in Wiltshire back and takes her literary activity again. This is where their popular mill farm stories are first created .

In 1964 her memories appear stormy to cheerful , which immediately become a bestseller. The mirror certifies Castonier's eye for the typical and the bizarre. “The pompous childhood and the wild girls' years give more than a tenor marriage, a writing career and the flight from Hitler.” Herbert Huber says: “The entertaining work captivates with a who's who of the first half of the 20th century. All of these people are interwoven in the action, it is not a boring or even ostentatious list. "

By 2010, Stürmisch bis heiter had a total (German) print run of around 200,000 copies.


  • The black shadow , detective novel, Berlin 1928
  • Woman, servant, maid , novel, 1932
  • Angèle Dufour ( The Sardine Fishermen ), drama, 1932
  • The Eternal Front , 1942 (On the religious resistance to the Hitler regime)
  • Three deaf aunts , story, Munich 1957
  • The forgotten house , Roman, Bayreuth 1959
  • Mill Farm , Erzählungen, Munich 1959
  • The Duchess Nana. New stories from Mill Farm , Munich 1960
  • Noella , Roman, Hamburg 1962
  • Stormy to cheerful. Memoirs of an outsider , Munich 1964
  • A little loud night , narration, Frankfurt / Main 1966
  • Strange Pattern: Encounters, Fates , Munich 1971
  • Three times love , stories, Munich 1975
  • Improbable truths. Experiences, curiosities, memories , Munich 1975
  • The face at the window , Roman, Munich 1976

In addition, translations and journalistic work

See also


  • Deborah J. Vietor-Engländer (Hrsg.): Exil im Nebelland. Elisabeth Castonier's letters to Mary Tucholsky. A chronicle , Bern 2004
  • Dagmar Frings and Jörg Kuhn: The Borchardts. In the footsteps of a Berlin family, Berlin (Hentrich & Hentrich) 2011, ISBN 978-3-942271-17-2
  • Wilhelm Sternfeld , Eva Tiedemann: German Exile Literature 1933-1945. A bio-bibliography , Schneider, Heidelberg / Darmstadt, 1962

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Elisabeth Castonier , at FemBio, accessed on April 29, 2011
  2. a b According to Exil-Archiv , accessed on April 29, 2011
  3. See this website ( Memento of the original from April 13, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed April 29, 2011 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.schauburg.net
  4. ^ Elisabeth Castonier: Stormy to cheerful: Memoirs of an outsider . Ed .: Deutscher Transchenbuch Verlag. Munich 1967, p. 125 .
  5. ^ Dagmar Frings and Jörg Kuhn: The Borchardts. In the footsteps of a Berlin family, Berlin (Hentrich & Hentrich) 2011, ISBN 978-3-942271-17-2
  6. ^ Elisabeth Castonier: Stormy to cheerful . In: Der Spiegel . No. 7 , 1965 ( online - February 10, 1965 , accessed April 29, 2011).
  7. See here , accessed April 29, 2011
  8. Amazingly, this book is not mentioned in FemBio , accessed on April 29, 2011
  9. Angèle Dufour, play in three acts , was published in 1932 by Drei Masken Verlag and was premiered on February 21, 1933 as Die Sardinenfischer .
  10. Here is a presentation , accessed on April 29, 2011
  11. Conspicuous types. Elisabeth Castonier: "Strange Pattern" . In: Der Spiegel . No. 19 , 1971 ( online - May 3, 1971 , accessed April 29, 2011).