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Babylon

Edited and with an Introduction by Cora Lee Nollendorfs

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Cora Lee Nollendorfs

Babylon by Christian Essellen (1823-1859), a «lost» dramatic poem by an obscure author, is a unique representation of the revolutions of 1848-1849. A participant in and historian of the events, Essellen emigrated to the U.S. in 1852, where he spent the last years of his life. Babylon, probably written in 1850 or 1851, appeared in serialized form in 1853 in the weekly newspaper issues of Essellen's periodical Atlantis, few of which have been preserved. Firmly in the German literary tradition, the work includes characters from Greek mythology, Petrarch, Shakespeare, and Goethe, as well as various historical figures; it ends in an apocalyptic vision of the future. This edition of Babylon is presented with a biographical assessment of Essellen's life and contribution.