Benedikte Naubert (1756-1819) and Her Relations to English Culture

Benedikte Naubert (1756-1819) and Her Relations to English Culture

HILARY BROWN
Volume: 63
Copyright Date: 2005
Pages: 167
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt32b8vh
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Benedikte Naubert (1756-1819) and Her Relations to English Culture
    Book Description:

    The eighteenth century saw the first significant phase of cultural interchange between Britain and Germany. This study examines the part played in this process by women writers, who were entering the literary world in large numbers for the first time. It asks whether women - as readers, translators and authors - were particularly receptive to the work of other women, and whether a cross-cultural female literary tradition emerged during the period.The study offers a detailed case-study of the German writer Benedikte Naubert, now known for her collection of fairytales but also a prolific novelist. It looks first at Naubert's engagement with English literature, that is to say at her numerous translations of English novels, and at the ways in which Anglophilia influenced the production of her own fiction. It establishes how Naubert's interest in England and English literature was related to her position as a woman writer. It then examines the reception of her novels and stories in Britain, questioning how far the response to her texts was related to issues of gender. Naubert's work is compared throughout to that of other women writers, and the study thus sheds new light on the extent to which cross-cultural interchange influenced the development of women's writing in both countries.

    eISBN: 978-1-78188-085-2
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. iv-iv)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-5)

    The Age of Enlightenment was an age of cosmopolitanism. It saw European intellectuals meet and discuss ideas in the coffee-houses and salons of London and Paris; it saw the founding of international periodicals such as Le Journal des Savans (1665–1782) and Acta Eruditorum (1682–1731); it saw all manner of literature sweep with unprecedented rapidity from one vernacular to the next. The great figures of the Enlightenment were not women, and yet it was also the age of women’s increased participation in cultural life. There has been little consideration of how women shared in the enthusiasm for things foreign,...

  5. CHAPTER ONE ANGLO-GERMAN LITERARY RELATIONS: A FEMALE TRADITION?
    (pp. 6-21)

    The eighteenth century marked the beginning of a new stage in literary influence between Britain and Germany. Until the early 1700s, literary contact between the two nations had been sporadic, confined to the refashioned Elizabethan dramas introduced to the German courts by itinerant English comedians, or the dissemination of philosophical and theological works in the lingua franca of Latin. This chapter will give an outline of both the reception of English literature in Germany and the reception of German literature in Britain. It will discuss each country in turn, even though literary interrelationships were frequently more complex. M. G. Lewis,...

  6. CHAPTER TWO NAUBERT’S TRANSLATIONS FROM ENGLISH
    (pp. 22-50)

    Naubert has never been studied in her capacity as a translator, even though she was one of the most prolific translators of her day. Among her œuvre are works such as Elfride oder das Opfer väterlicher Vorurtheile. Nach dem Englischen (1788) and Corelia oder die Geheimnisse des Grabes. Nach dem Englischen frey bearbeitet (1802). Yet she is known, if at all, for her ‘original’ work, that is to say for her novels and in particular for her fairy tales. This reflects a general lack of scholarly attention—a few short pieces aside—to the subject of women and translation in...

  7. CHAPTER THREE ENGLISH MODELS IN NAUBERT’S FICTION
    (pp. 51-76)

    Naubert’s engagement with English culture was not limited to her translations. Her letters give clues to her far-reaching interest in the country. She writes about the poet Peter Courtier and The Monthly Review; she has heard the anecdote about Fanny Burney, whose unsuspecting father made her a present of a Burney novel; she slips into English and quotes snatches of English poetry. She managed to procure English books from Leipzig University Library:

    Ihr lieber Brief traf mich gestern in Gesellschaft einiger alter Herren, die ich mir, da ich mich zu Hause (in Naumburg) wegen der leidigen Haussorge nicht viel mit...

  8. CHAPTER FOUR NAUBERT’S PORTRAYAL OF BRITAIN
    (pp. 77-100)

    We have seen how English literature influenced the overall concept of Naubert’s fiction. More specifically, though, a number of works are set in Britain or have British protagonists. These are principally the novels Walter von Montbarry (1786), Edwy und Elgiva (1791), and Gebhard, Truchseβ vonWalâburg (1791), and the fairy tales ‘Der kurze Mantel’ (1789), ‘Erdmann und Marie’ (1791), ‘Die hamelschen Kinder’ (1791), and ‘Voadicea und Velleda’ (1795). How can these works be understood? Was Naubert the Brotschriftstellerin merely pandering to an Anglophile readership? Does Britain have a special place in her fiction?

    This chapter will consider how Naubert’s representations of...

  9. CHAPTER FIVE NAUBERT’S RECEPTION IN BRITAIN
    (pp. 101-135)

    Naubert’s productions were not only popular in Germany but found their way in different guises to France, Holland, Sweden, and Britain. In Britain, the reception of her fiction coincided with the first stirrings of interest in German letters. For the most part, readers would have come across her work only in translation.¹ There has been no satisfactory attempt even to assemble bibliographical data on the translations. Bayard Quincy Morgan lists five novels and one short story in the two most up-to-date editions of his Critical Bibliography of German Literature in English Translation: Alf von Deulmen (1790), Herman of Unna (1794),...

  10. CONCLUSION
    (pp. 136-139)

    Without a doubt, Benedikte Naubert deserves a place in the history of late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Anglo-German literary relations. This study has covered both Naubert’s engagement with English literature and the reception of her œuvre in Britain. For on the one hand, Naubert was responsive to the corpus of English writing making its way into Germany en masse for the first time. She translated around fourteen English popular novels into German. She was widely read in English literature and used a range of English literary models and sources in her own fiction, from Samuel Richardson to William Robertson, from...

  11. APPENDIX ONE: NAUBERT’S TRANSLATIONS FROM ENGLISH
    (pp. 140-140)
  12. APPENDIX TWO: FRENCH AND ENGLISH VERSIONS OF NAUBERT’S WORKS
    (pp. 141-142)
  13. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 143-156)
  14. INDEX
    (pp. 157-161)