The first major study in English of nineteenth-century German women writers, this book examines their social and cultural milieu along with the layers of interpretation and representation that inform their writing.
Studying a period of German literary history that has been largely ignored by modern readers, Ruth-Ellen Boetcher Joeres demonstrates that these writings offer intriguing opportunities to examine such critical topics as canon formation; the relationship between gender, class, and popular culture; and women, professionalism, and technology. The writers she explores range from Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, who managed to work her way into the German canon, to the popular serial novelist E. Marlitt, from liberal writers such as Louise Otto and Fanny Lewald, to the virtually unknown novelist and journalist Claire von Glümer. Through this investigation, Boetcher Joeres finds ambiguities, compromises, and subversions in these texts that offer an extensive and informative look at the exciting and transformative epoch that so much shaped our own.
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The problems of German feminist thought today are, to some extent, rooted in the 19th century, the formative period of the modern German state. Not only did women find no encouragement to write and publish but they encountered barriers on their path, barriers more intense than in other Western societies of the time. Unlike women writers in Britain and France or their male counterparts in Germany, German women writers, with few exceptions, remain unknown beyond their national boundaries. Joeres (German, women's studies, Univ. of Minnesota) investigates the social and cultural predicaments of 19th-century German women writers and feminist thought?or the absence of it?in their literary works. This careful, well-researched title is highly recommended for academic and large public libraries and essential for women's studies collections.?Ali Houissa, Cornell Univ., NY
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