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More Was Lost

4.13  ·  Rating Details  ·  54 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
She writes about her marriage to a Hungarian baron, their life of a Ruthenian estate, and the devastating effects of WW II on their family and friends. Lucid, crisp, and unpretentious, this re-release of More Was Lost is a joy.
Paperback, 264 pages
Published April 1st 2000 by Helen Marx Books
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I hadn't heard of Eleanor Perenyi before this book was selected by NYRB for its Feb. selection for the book of the month.

At a very young age, Perenyi made a Hungarian Baron and goes to live on his rather improvised estate. It is an unlikely marriage, but works until world wide events happen, in particular the outbreak of World War II.

The selling point of the book is Perenyi's tone which is gossipy and chatty. It also captures a place and time that are long gone.
author's (she was from usa) chronicle of marrying a hungarina baron, moving to the half-abandoned family farm/vineyard/orchard/tobacco farm/distillery at the base of carpathian mountains in very eastern hungary/Czechoslovakia/carpatho-ukraine/ruthenia/rumania/old austro hungarian empire/turned fascists/turned communist area.
she meets and marries in 1937. you can imagine, perhaps, what happens next.
i wonderful addition to pre-wwii "regular" life, and the choices all peoples were forced to make.
Apr 13, 2016 mark rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs
In 1937, a young American daughter-of-privilege traveling in Europe with her family meets and marries a middle-aged Hungarian baron. They go to live on the not-so-small remnants of his feudal estate in Transcarpathia. Both families are without money in their own eyes, but the baron's hundreds of acres of farmland and vineyards permit them to employ several servants and farmhands, and for the wife/author to renovate the manor house. Perhaps I sound too harsh - I thoroughly enjoyed this book - the ...more
Aug 18, 2012 Featherbooks rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
Insightful recollections of the author's short marriage to a Hungarian nobleman at the beginning of WWII as their estate is flung back and forth between warring factions placing them in Hungary, Czechlaslovakia, Ruthenia, and the Soviet Union in a few short years. Her youth and naivete as an American girl abroad is evident but it also allows for for her enthusiasm and bold spirit facing historically entrenched culture and prejudices. She wrote a marvelous gardening book Green Thoughts: A Writer ...more
Jo Walton
She was an American girl of nineteen, he was a Hungarian count of 37. They fell in love. It was 1937. History wasn't just snapping at their heels, it was about to break over them.

This is a fluent well-written, honest, and fascinating memoir.
Jason McKinney
Feb 25, 2016 Jason McKinney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hadn't heard of this prior to joining the New York Review Books book club, but it's nice to be surprised by such an enjoyable book. I will say that I enjoyed the first half of this more than the second because the story of an American woman moving to live in a chateau in Eastern Europe in the innocent time between two World Wars was more interesting to me than the description of what happened when that second World War started.

I think the most refreshing aspect of this whole thing though is t
May 26, 2015 Román rated it really liked it
Very good source on the atmosphere of Hungary and Ruthenia (both as part of Chechoslovakia and Hungary). The author is very opinionated. Some of her views on people of Central Europe are controversial, somewhat shallow. Some of the discriptions of daily life are a bit too much. To detailed and all that. However she's genuine and tells incredible story and American girl that travelled all over the Europe in one of the most dangerous of the times. 1937-1940. Good read for people that would like to ...more
Janet Self
Jun 10, 2016 Janet Self rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took the book a little while to capture me, but I was eventually drawn into it. The reason I gave it four stars instead of three is that it is a window into Europe immediately pre-World War II.
Barbara Adde
Mar 08, 2016 Barbara Adde rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommendations
Some pieces of information I would have liked were missing but this is a beautifully told memoir by an American woman about her life in pre-WWII Czchechoslavakia.
Inexpressively sad - lost time, lost love. The blowzy, autumnal air of Eastern Europe before the war always makes me think, what if it hadn't happened?
Pre-WWII, young English woman marries older baron and goes to live in his castle in Hungary.
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NYRB Classics: More Was Lost, by Eleanor Perényi 1 16 Sep 22, 2015 02:04PM  
Eleanor Perenyi (January 4, 1918 – May 3, 2009) was a gardener and author on gardening. She wrote Green Thoughts, a collection of essays based on her own experiences as a gardener. The book drew on her work on her husband’s castle (described in her 1946 publication More Was Lost). Green Thoughts was reviewed by Brooke Astor in The New York Times.

Eleanor Perenyi was the daughter of Navy officer, El
More about Eleanor Perenyi...

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