The New International Encyclopædia/Arnim, Elisabeth von
ARNIM, är′nī̇m, Elisabeth von, better known as Bettina (1785-1859). A sister of Clemens Brentano, and wife of Achim von Arnim, born at Frankfort-on-the-Main. She is noted chiefly for her friendship with Goethe (1807-11) and her pretended Correspondence of Goethe with a Child (Goethes Briefwechsel mit einem Kinde) (1838), which is in large part fictitious. Genuine sonnets of Goethe in it were addressed, not to her, but to Minna Herzlieb. As a work of fiction its merits are great. It is original, fresh, lively, and graphic, though with the usual romantic faults of construction; and in its speculative pages it is unintelligible. A similar volume of Correspondence with Caroline von Günderode is equally interesting, as is also a collection of real Letters to and from her brother Clemens. She was a true member of a brilliantly eccentric family, keen, witty, capricious, vain, untruthful. Her translation of her Correspondence with Goethe into English is one of the curiosities of literature.