Christine is purportedly a compilation of letters from a "gifted young English girl studying in Germany just before the outbreak of the war" (Charms 188) to her mother in Britain.
Written by Elizabeth von Arnim and presented under her anonymous pen-name Alice Cholmondeley, the work dated from May 28, 1914 to August 4, 1914, the letters were published in 1917. "Christine" explained her experience with German pre-war culture; however, Christine did not exist. She was a fictional character that some claim was Arnim's attempt at anti-German propaganda. These detailed letters helped to convey a picture to British citizens of the supposed state of mind of the German public during the chaotic days leading up to World War I.
Christine tells the story of a seventeen-year-old virtuoso violinist who travels to Germany in May, 1914 to study with the renowned violin teacher "Kloster". Christine arrives in Germany just a few weeks before the beginning of the hostilities that would become World War I. against the backdrop of impending war, Christine studies and prepares for her future. She falls in love. She experiences a precious moment in time when all is perfect. And, as the preface warns, both her dreams and her person succumb at the onset of the war