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The Prose Fiction of Louise von François (1817-1893)

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Barbara Burns

Louise von François (1817-1893) was a German realist writer whose work appeared in several editions during her lifetime and was translated abroad. Her most famous novel, Die letzte Reckenburgerin, attracted significant critical attention from her contemporaries and was regarded as one of the most innovative novels of the century. Her other prose fiction, however, is less well known. In the context of the ongoing re-assessment of nineteenth-century women writers, this book evaluates the thematic preoccupations and narrative technique of François’s creative work as a whole. Through a study of ten representative texts, most of which have not been subject to detailed literary analysis in the past, the author considers François’s powerful portrayals of female self-reliance, and seeks to elucidate aspects of her most cherished convictions, which centred on values of honour and duty, and on a vision of a more equitable and decent society.
Contents: Biography of Louise von François – Analysis of the following works: Die Geschichte meines Urgroßvaters; Phosphorus Hollunder; Der Posten der Frau; Fräulein Mutchen und ihr Hausmaier; Hinter dem Dom; Die goldene Hochzeit; Judith, die Kluswirtin; Die letzte Reckenburgerin; Zu Füßen des Monarchen; Der Katzenjunker.