E. Marlitt and her Narrative Strategies
This study is the first in English to examine E. Marlitt’s complete fiction. It situates her prose against the backdrop of women’s discourse and nineteenth-century historical developments in the German Empire. It synthesizes findings of both American and German scholarship to show how her social constructs advanced a liberal political agenda while resisting the conventional view of «natural» gender roles. The book provides a context for recognizing Marlitt’s clever use of the conventionality and acceptability of the romance genre to reposition the image of middle-class women. Her emphasis on personal autonomy, educational opportunities and new fields of professional engagement for women advanced altered images of family, class and national identity. Ultimately, this study of a popular author illuminates domestic, middle-class issues that underwent significant transformations equal to the Empire’s public developments under Bismarck’s politics.
A Note on Sources
Textual citations in English are my own renderings of the original German of Marlitt’s texts, closely following translations of A. L. Wister published by J. P. Lippencott and Co. The original German is included throughout. Pagination refers to the unabridged versions of E. Marlitt’s Gesammelte Romane und Novellen (Leipzig: Verlag von Ernst Keils Nachfolger, 1897) unless otherwise noted, for this edition is accessible via online postings at
Sources and abbreviations:
E. Marlitts gesammelte Romane und Novellen. 10 Bde., Leipzig: Verlag von Ernst Keils Nachfolger, 1897
Vol. 1 Das Geheimnis der alten Mamsell (GM) or The Old Mam’selle’s Secret
Vol. 2 Das Heideprinzeßchen (HP) or The Little Moorland Princess
Vol. 3 Reichsgräfin Gisela (RG) or Countess Gisela
Vol. 4 Im Schillingshof (SH) or In the Schillingscourt
Vol. 5 Im Hause des Kommerzienrates (HdK) or At the Councillor’s
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