Letzte Chancen
Vier Einakter von Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

Edited by Susanne Kord

Critical Texts 3

Modern Humanities Research Association

1 October 2005  •  136pp

ISBN: 0-947623-65-5 (paperback)  •  RRP £14.99, $19.99, €17.99


Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, now famous for her novels, aphorisms, novellas, and diary writing, saw herself as a playwright, wrote exclusively dramas during the first 30 years of her literary career, and was extremely ambitious: in her own words, she was aiming to become ‘the Shakespeare of the nineteenth century.’ She authored twenty-six plays, which were reviewed contemptuously by her contemporaries and ignored by posterity.

The plays selected for this volume are all short (one-act) comedies dating from roughly the same time period (late 1880s to 1900); they are ideally suited for inclusion in a collection due to their thematic and stylistic compatibility. In each play, a man and a woman who loved each other in the past encounter each other again after years of separation. In each case, the couples reconsider their relationship in a brilliantly witty conversation that not only touches upon their personal relationship, but also on the gender politics of their day. Most importantly, the term ‘love’ and the expectations it raises in an age that saw the transition from arranged ‘reasonable’ marriages to the ‘love match’ is severely and hilariously scrutinised — and the conclusions arrived at in some of these plays hold significant surprises for the reader.

Susanne Kord is Professor of German at University College London.


  • ‘Meticulously edited ... In her informative and very readable introductory essays, Kord traces Ebner-Eschenbach’s development and reception as a dramatist, and presents the individual plays in an engaging manner.’ — Ulrike Tanzer, Austrian Studies 14, 2006, 354-56 (full text online)
  • ‘A welcome addition, making accessible some of the lesser-known dramas in a helpfully annotated format, and shed[ding] fresh light on E-E.’ — Barbara Burns, The Year's Work in Modern Language Studies 66, 2007
  • ‘These important editions of little-known dramas by the Austrian author Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach (1830–1916) are vital for anyone who wants to research and teach beyond the canon. They are the result of arduous editorial work and are meticulously annotated by Susanne Kord ... These volumes are likely to provoke much future research on Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach; they provide stimulating analyses of the texts and detailed notes and bibliographies. In addition, they are such good value that they can be easily included on undergraduate reading-lists.’ — Charlotte Woodford, Modern Language Review 102, 2007, 1182-84 (full text online)

Bibliography entry:

Kord, Susanne (ed.), Letzte Chancen: Vier Einakter von Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, Critical Texts, 3 (MHRA, 2005)

First footnote reference: 35 Letzte Chancen: Vier Einakter von Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, ed. by Susanne Kord, Critical Texts, 3 (MHRA, 2005), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Kord, p. 47.

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

Bibliography entry:

Kord, Susanne (ed.). 2005. Letzte Chancen: Vier Einakter von Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, Critical Texts, 3 (MHRA)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Kord 2005: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Kord 2005: 21.

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

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