Phosphorus Hollunder und Der Posten der Frau von Louise von François

Edited by Barbara Burns

Critical Texts 13

Modern Humanities Research Association

1 October 2008  •  172pp

ISBN: 978-0-947623-75-3 (paperback)  •  RRP £10.99, $17.50, €13.99

ISBN: 978-1-122917-49-0 (Google ebook)  •  RRP £4.95

Sample: Google Books

ModernGermanFiction


Louise von François (1817-1893) was a German writer of realist fiction and a contemporary of Fontane, Storm and Meyer. Her most famous novel, Die letzte Reckenburgerin (1871), was regarded as one of the most innovative novels of the nineteenth century and attracted significant critical attention.

François’s novels and novellas are notable for their strong story lines, rich prose and psychological realism. Endorsing the values of honour and duty as prerequisites for the creation of a more equitable society, François shared with other literary figures of the period an antipathy toward class prejudice and religious intolerance. Despite François’s didactic focus, however, her writing lacks neither wit nor suspense, and a firm grasp of narrative technique is her mainstay. Her talent for originality of construction results in highly readable stories that stand the test of time.

Phosphorus Hollunder focuses on the development of a male protagonist who is refined through suffering, relinquishing vanity and dilettantism for moral rectitude and responsibility, while also addressing the nineteenth-century social tensions resulting from class distinction and the decline of the nobility. It is a tale of unrequited love and betrayal which retains the reader’s interest by challenging rather than capitulating to sentimental romantic stereotypes.

Der Posten der Frau is set against the backdrop of the Seven Years' War, and portrays the struggle of a disenchanted young woman to find an appropriate wartime role. Without glamorising her function, François elevates the woman’s status from that of passive and powerless observer to authoritative sustainer of domestic and social stability. The novella offers a subtle exploration of the ambiguous distinction between the categories of friend and foe, and implies a challenge to traditional feminine identity.

Barbara Burns is a senior lecturer in the German Department at the University of Glasgow.

Reviews:

  • ‘This handsome critical edition of two of François’s lesser-known short stories from 1857 offers a valuable reminder of the writer’s many merits as a storyteller.’ — Karen Leeder, Modern Language Review 105.3, 2010, 896-97 (full text online)

Bibliography entry:

Burns, Barbara (ed.), Phosphorus Hollunder und Der Posten der Frau von Louise von François, Critical Texts, 13 (Cambridge: MHRA, 2008)

First footnote reference: 35 Phosphorus Hollunder und Der Posten der Frau von Louise von François, ed. by Barbara Burns, Critical Texts, 13 (Cambridge: MHRA, 2008), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Burns, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Burns, Barbara (ed.). 2008. Phosphorus Hollunder und Der Posten der Frau von Louise von François, Critical Texts, 13 (Cambridge: MHRA)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Burns 2008: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Burns 2008: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


This title is distributed on behalf of MHRA by Ingram’s. Booksellers and libraries can order direct from Ingram by setting up a free ipage® Account: click here for more.


Permanent link to this title: