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Romanticism, Culture and Migration

Aspects of nineteenth-century German migration to Australia after German Unification- A case study of the diary and life of Adolph Würfel 1854-1914

Kathrine Reynolds

This work provides an understanding of the large worldwide migrations of the German-speaking people from the seventeenth to twenty-first century. By examining cultural aspects of the German-speaking diaspora such as art, music, literature, and work practices, a complex case is presented to understand wanderlust as it exists in the German mind, and its capacity to stimulate migration. The work also investigates the transfer of culture from the country of origin to the settler culture through the migrant and demonstrates the positive benefits of migration and the subtlety of cross-cultural transfer.
The study uses the diary of Adolph Würfel to provide a detailed insight into the mind of one individual, his education and the culture he brings with him from Europe to his new country, Australia, in 1876. It shows in detail, with concrete examples, how the transfer of culture occurs between the confines of Würfel’s own life and his new country over a forty-year period.


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The Diary of Adolph Würfel 67


67 The Diary of Adolph Würfel 23 January 1876 – 3 February 1878 Farewell, you Mountains and you beloved glades, You lone and peaceful valleys, fare you well! Through you Johanna never more may stray, Forever Johanna bids you now farewell. Your fields which I watered, and your trees that I have planted still in beauty blossom! Farewell you grottos and you crystal springs!1 Sweet echo, vocal spirit of the vale, Who sang responsive to my simple song, Johanna goes, never to return again! Friedrich Schiller, The Maid of Orleans2 Sunday 23 January, 1876 4 am On board SS Durham3 So now I have finally followed through this so long dreamed and but often rejected idea to leave my Fatherland. Whether I will ever return there, I know not. I feel and I admit quite freely, that at the moment, I have no desire to do so. Nothing pulls me back there at all except for 1 Würfel omitted this line (Friedrich Schiller, Sämtliche Werke, Fünfter Band, Die Jungfrau von Orleans, Stuttgart Gebrüder Kröner Verlagshandlung, p. 169). 2 This translation has been adapted by the editor from The Works of Frederick Schiller, edited by Henry G. Bohn, London 1854, translated by Miss Anna Swanwick, p. 340, from The Maid of Orleans, Prologue, Scene 4, monologue of Johanna. 3 Date the ship left Hamburg. It was a steam ship but also had sails and the route via the Canary Islands, Ascension and St Helena and...

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