Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Anecdotes of Destiny and Ehrengard” as Want to Read:
Anecdotes of Destiny and Ehrengard
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Anecdotes of Destiny and Ehrengard

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  463 Ratings  ·  82 Reviews
In the classic "Babette's Feast," a mysterious Frenchwoman prepares a sumptuous feast for a gathering of religious ascetics and, in doing so, introduces them to the true essence of grace. In "The Immortal Story," a miserly old tea-trader living in Canton wishes for power and finds redemption as he turns an oft-told sailors' tale into reality for a young man and woman. And ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 1st 1993 by Vintage (first published 1958)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Anecdotes of Destiny and Ehrengard, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Anecdotes of Destiny and Ehrengard

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 887)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Nov 24, 2007 Adam rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who like storytelling
Somewhere between the short,jewel like clarity of Winter's Tales and the dark pathways of Seven Gothic Tales this is possibly Dineson's most entertaining collection. Babette's feast is a justified comic classic(undercut with her trademark melancholy),Immortal Story is close to the best thing she has every written(up there with the Dreamers and Sorrow Acre),a mix of gothic terror and farce. Dineson can be best described as someone who has swallowed a library but still wants to tell you campfire t ...more
Rambling Reader
some stories are excellent and some are so-so. that's what made me decide to rate four stars for this collection. gothic tales and out of Africa are the best representation of dinesen's writerly talents.
Sep 05, 2013 Krista rated it really liked it
As I have only read the Immortal Story I can only comment on how I feel about that one. The story was okay and was a lot better than most stories I have to read in school. I did like how the story flowed and how it did not focus solely on one character the whole time. The characters themselves were pretty good as well. The only reason I do not really like the story is that it is not my usual cup of tea. I do not usually read stories like this unless it is for school and even then I do not like i ...more
YaRa AshRaf
Feb 05, 2016 YaRa AshRaf rated it it was ok
For the whole book : it's so boring, non sense, aimless & hardly any creativity. I only liked ( the idea ) of the immortal story & how Mr. Clay wanted that story to become a real one.
Dec 22, 2015 Carrie rated it liked it
I read Babette's Feast closer to Thanksgiving and loved it, so circled back around to pick up some more of Dinesan's stories. These do not disappoint. She has such a unique style of spinning a tale, but leaving so much buried underneath. Stories skip along the surface pulled by the characters' actions, but there are deeper dimensions of faith and relationships and motives that usually don't surface until the end and take a little effort to extract. In Tempests, a young woman is groomed to play A ...more
Mar 05, 2015 Greg rated it really liked it
Isak Dinesen is best known for “Out of Africa” and her “Seven Gothic Tales,” but her other works contain some fine masterpieces as well. This volume contains a series of short stories and novellas. Dinesen’s tales are written in a traditional storytelling style, and are fine representations of 19th century Romantic literature. Each of her stories presents a gothic bleakness, much like modern movies of Nordic countries. She explores themes of morality, austerity, destiny and courage.

The first tal
Aaron Jansen
Jul 24, 2015 Aaron Jansen rated it really liked it
Having now read virtually all of Dinesen’s fictional output (I still have not read Out of Africa, the book for which she is most famous, but it’s a memoir, not a novel) I feel prepared to assess her body of work as a whole. She is, basically, a genius. But her genius is of the extremely specialized sort that exhausts itself quickly once it’s found the right mode of expression. Dinesen finds her mode immediately: Nearly all of her stories are concerned with 18th and 19th century European aristocr ...more
Sep 05, 2013 Ashlynn rated it liked it
I was sadly only able to read the Immortal Story, but then again it was kind of a boring book. If someone had just laid this book in front of me and told me i could read it if i wanted to, i most likely would have read the first chapter then i would have thrown it across the room because the first couple chapters were that boring. I will however say that towards the end of the story it picked up a little speed and did get more interesting.
Oct 08, 2011 kasia rated it it was amazing
Isak Dinesen (or Karen Blixen) is becoming one of my favorite writers. Her writing is just incredible. This is a collection of dense, fairy tale-like of stories, and they are absolutely marvelous. Each is intricate and complex, with these incredible twists and turns. None of the stories ever went the way you expected, but by the end you felt like all the pieces had fallen perfectly into place. Really masterful composition. And so beautiful!
Jun 24, 2016 Sean rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who respect the power of words and careful writing.
Dinesen is my new favorite author. Of the stories herein included, "The Ring" has captivated me the most, with its subtle yet fierce eroticism in one sentence. With one sentence, one little image (the knife in the sheep-thief's hand pointing at her neck), Dinesen disturbed me, thrilled me, and immediately let me know exactly what was going on in the mind of an up-till-then naive girl. Just amazing what she did in so few words.
Cody Schatz
Sep 05, 2013 Cody Schatz rated it liked it
I only read the Immortal Story, so it's hard to write an accurate review. Nevertheless, I found the story rather boring, and ongoing for a lack of better words. The plot wasn't as bad as expected, but I believe if one was not required to read the story, you wouldn't. There isn't enough excitement to keep a person interested. It's very, very dull. The ending of the story is one out of a horrible movie.
Apr 24, 2016 Megan rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
More like a ".5" All the stories were written in the same dry fashion, underdeveloped characters and hardly any creativity.
May 03, 2014 James rated it really liked it
"Ah! How you will enchant the angels!"
This quotation, from Babette's Feast, refers to the expectation of Phillipa, for whom Babette had been cook for many years, that Babette would truly be among the angels due to her transformative impact on Phillipa and her sister and the others from the small village of Berlevaag who attended the feast she had prepared. But to understand these transformations one must return to the beginning of Dinesen's story where the first paragraph introduces this town th
Sep 08, 2010 Tony rated it really liked it
Dinesen, Isak. ANECDOTES OF DESTINY and EHRENGARD. (1958 & 1963). ****. “Anecdotes...” is a collection of five short stories by Dinesen that vary in quality, but two of them are magnificent: “Babette’s Feast,” and “The Immortal Story.” Also included in this volume is the novella, “Ehrengard.” I could not, frankly, get into this tale – tortuous in its telling. It relies on a once-removed epistletory style in a trumped-up medieval style that leaft me cold. “Babette’s Feast,” is the story of Ba ...more
Austin Lance
Sep 05, 2013 Austin Lance rated it liked it
I only read the Immortal Story, so I am unable to critique the entire thing. But, for the story I did read, I have to say it is quite good for its duration. The story in its entirety stands a story within story. (Storyception) Back to the point, with the Immortal Story, I find myself intrigued by the use of characterization in the tale. Mr. Clay is selfish, only attempting to create a story and make it fact. Elishama, Clay's assistant, doing his job and helping Clay realize his goal, was probabl ...more
Christopher Smith
Jul 18, 2015 Christopher Smith rated it it was amazing
Enrapturing and clever, this set of stories by Karen Blixen discusses the trials of individuals at the mercy of fate, which brings people, fortune, and iopportunity in and out of each others' lives, in such a way as to change the ways in which they see themselves, the world, and their place in it. Very masterfully crafted, each story unfolds delicately, growing more complex and enticing without the reader even quite realizing it, until the point when one's jaw drops at a poignant resolution.

Jul 09, 2010 Suzy rated it it was ok
i loved Out of Africa (not really even the same story as he movie!), so I wanted to read something else by Isak Denison. This is a collection of stories, or novelettes. I read the first one and wasnot impressed. Then I read Babette's Feast--I had of course seen the movie years ago. It was good. I just finished The Immortal Tale and liked it even better---except for the ending (non). This is rather Dickensian, and at teh same time fantastical. A very unusual story premise: A dying old rich man do ...more
Feb 09, 2015 Ashley rated it really liked it
Reading "Babette's Feast" never gets old--I just love that story. I also really liked "The Immortal Story" and "Ehrengard." These stories are so imaginative and feel like fairy-tales, yet they are full of thematic ideas about the role of artists in society and the power of art.
Sep 06, 2010 Amy rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 07, 2012 Franchesca rated it it was amazing
Shelves: about-women
There's something about the way Dinesen writes that will impress you, whether she writes in an allegorical/fairy-tale way or the grains of wisdom which are strikingly true and unnervingly accurate found within. She has this kind of observation that amazes readers, in her stories, like Ehrengard--the story I particularly liked for its clever ending, and Babette's Feast which deals with a community of people and the "food feast" that changes them overnight (no they did not become monsters or anyth ...more
Sep 05, 2013 Terasa rated it liked it
To be honest, I have only read The Immortal Story out of this book, so I can't give a blanket statement in regards to the book. I can, however, write about how I felt after reading The Immortal Story.
I liked the story in general, but it had a very vague, abrupt ending and it was a little confusing. The story itself was actually something I hadn't ever encountered before; it had a good story and the characters were very filled out for such a short story. I am not really sure how I feel after re
Nov 25, 2015 Christina rated it really liked it
I never knew the film Babette's Feast was based on a short story, but after reading the essay The Artistry of Grace by Leta Sundet, I just had to get my hands on it and read it:
I did not read the other stories in the book.
Mar 22, 2016 Philip rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Creatives and classic-lovers
Babette's Feast, one of the short stories in this book, is an exceptional commendation of love, compassion, and excellence in aesthetic creativity, and by far my favorite of this collection. "Through all the world there goes one long cry from the heart of the artist: Give me leave to do my utmost!" (I also highly recommend the masterfully film directed by Gabriel Axel drawn from this story.) The Diver and Tempests (other stories in this book) are also worth a read for the drama of their pensivel ...more
May 26, 2014 Beth rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Marvelous, old-fashioned storytelling, full of unexpected twists and turns.
Ryan Tracy
Sep 05, 2013 Ryan Tracy rated it liked it
I only read the Immortal Story: I felt the had an interesting storyline, but to me i felt that it was a bit unrealistic and outlandish. The characters in the story were WAY over the top crazy. Whether it was Mr. Clay, and Elishama's antisocial personality. To Virgine's little bit to "social" personality. The premise of the ending was what i expected, but the way they went about it was etremely strange. Over all i liked the idea of the story but I'm more of a realistic person and the book was jus ...more
Krisette Spangler
Aug 13, 2011 Krisette Spangler rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
I'm really torn about the rating for this book. Isak Dinesen has such a beautiful style of writing, and all of the stories were engaging. However, the book had an overall sadness to it. Would it have hurt to write a story with a happy ending?

I would recommend reading it, especially if you like short stories. You can't really lose with Dinesen if you enjoy beautiful language. I'm looking forward to watching the movie 'Babette's Feast' now. It was my favorite story in the book. Can I borrow it Sta
Al Maki
Dec 01, 2015 Al Maki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: story, funny
These are aristocratic fairy tales: clever, bitter, sweet. The only writer I can think of who writes in a similar style who seems to me as good a writer is ETA Hoffman, but he lacked the irony and the sadness that for me are right at the heart of her work.
Nov 24, 2015 Chrystal rated it it was amazing
5 stars given for two of the stories: Babette's Feast and The Immortal Story.
Callie Wray
Sep 05, 2013 Callie Wray rated it really liked it
I only read The Immortal Story from this book. I actually really liked the story. It had some very humorous scenes and, generally, the plot was well thought out. Aside from the ending, it was written very well. I only gave it four stars because the ending bothered me. It seemed kind of abrupt and the whole shell thing was mostly just confusing. I would recommend giving this a read. I'm sure the other stories within the book are good as well.
Sammi Smith
Sep 05, 2013 Sammi Smith rated it really liked it
Out of all the stories in this book, I have only read "The Immortal Story." This story about an old Canton tea-trader was a good story. The whole concept of the story had an outstanding story line. My favorite kind of story is one told through many point of views. Elishama, Virginie, Mr. Clay, and Povl all tell their own side to the sailor's story which makes for an even more interesting story line. You will love "The Immortal Story."
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 29 30 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Angelic Avengers
  • Love Songs
  • Renascence and Other Poems
  • A Whisper in the Noise
  • Elementals: Stories of Fire and Ice
  • Someday This Will Be Funny
  • The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart: A Poetry Anthology
  • The Love Songs of Sappho
  • Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • Mogens and Other Stories
  • The Poetry and Short Stories of Dorothy Parker (Modern Library)
  • Katherine Anne Porter: Collected Stories and Essays
  • Family and Friends
  • A Book of Women Poets: From Antiquity to Now
  • Bitterroot Landing
  • Practical Mysticism
  • The Human Aura Astral Colors and Thought Forms
  • Poems of Passion
Pseudonym used by the Danish author Karen Blixen.

Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke (Danish: [kʰɑːɑn ˈbleɡsn]; 17 April 1885 – 7 September 1962), née Karen Christenze Dinesen, was a Danish author, also known by the pen name Isak Dinesen, who wrote works in Danish, French and English. She also at times used the pen names Tania Blixen, Osceola, and Pierre Andrézel.
Blixen is best known for Out of Afri
More about Isak Dinesen...

Share This Book