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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
June 2022
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Book description

Shedding new light on the alternative, emancipatory Germany discovered and written about by progressive women writers during the long nineteenth century, this illuminating study uncovers a country that offered a degree of freedom and intellectual agency unheard of in England. Opening with the striking account of Anna Jameson and her friendship with Ottilie von Goethe, Linda K. Hughes shows how cultural differences spurred ten writers' advocacy of progressive ideas and provided fresh materials for publishing careers. Alongside well-known writers – Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot, Michael Field, Elizabeth von Arnim, and Vernon Lee – this study sheds light on the lesser-known writers Mary and Anna Mary Howitt, Jessie Fothergill, and the important Anglo-Jewish lesbian writer Amy Levy. Armed with their knowledge of the German language, each of these women championed an extraordinarily productive openness to cultural exchange and, by approaching Germany through a female lens, imported an alternative, 'other' Germany into English letters.


‘well written asnd researched’

Rosemary Ashton Source: Times Literary Supplement

‘… well written and researched, Linda Hughes's book consists of a set of essays connected by the surprisingly rich and diverse group of nineteenth-century women writers and travellers who interacted with Germany and its literature and culture … Some of the best insights in Hughes's book come in the passages on Anna Jameson, who deserves the detailed attention shereceives here as a pioneer of lone womanhood travelling, discussing and writing about Germany, particularly its art.’

Rosemary Ashton Source: The Times Literary Supplement

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