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Amalia Schoppe (1791–1858) was one of the most productive authors in the nineteenth century: the “Erzählerin, Kinder- und Sachbuchautorin, Übersetzerin, Herausgeberin, Journalistin sowie … Lyrikerin, Dramatikerin und Opernlibrettistin” (novelist, author of children's books and nonfiction books, translator, editor, journalist as well as … poet, playwright, and librettist) published more than a hundred books and worked for over forty newspapers and magazines. Her works ranked among the most desired items in German libraries. After her death in 1858, however, the popularity of Schoppe, called a “Wundermädchen” (child prodigy) by Justinus Kerner, quickly diminished and her reputation sank to that of a “Randfigur der Literaturgeschichte” (marginal figure in literary history). Critics dismissed Schoppe's Biedermeier depiction of a “geordnete Welt der Tugend” (orderly world of virtue) with its stereotypical characters and situations as dilettantish scribbling, without “menschliche und weltanschauliche Tiefe” (human and ideological depth). It was only her role as a “gutherzige, wenn auch philiströs-beschränkte Gönnerin” (kindhearted, even though philistine patroness) to Friedrich Hebbel that continued to earn her recognition in intellectual circles; and, although German scholars have recently begun to challenge the “dismissal of Schoppe's work as trivial and insignificant,” the author remains excluded from German literary history even today.
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