The following translation is the first full length rendering of Malwida von Meysenbug's two-volume autobiography Memoiren einer Idealistin/Eine Reise nach Ostende into English. Meysenbug, who boasts ties to Nietzsche, Wagner, Herzen, and Saffi, was forerunner to a long line of female social democrats. She was an eyewitness to the tumultuous political events surrounding the German Revolution of 1848, and is remembered as a pioneer in education and gender issues. Meysenbug's memoirs depict nineteenth-century Europe in a dynamic state of transformation. This is a time of opposition and contradiction, when emerging philosophies and political movements vie for power with existing structures. European governments are forced to implement social reforms in an effort to avert insurrections and political catastrophe. In Germany, the influence of organized religion begins to wane, giving way to a generation of free thinkers who combine elements of the German classical and romantic periods with Marxist and other materialist world views.
College and Department
Humanities; Germanic and Slavic Languages
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Gardiner, Monte, "Malwida von Meysenbug's Memoirs of an Idealist. Translation of Memoiren einer Idealistin" (1999). Theses and Dissertations. 6662.
Criticism and interpretation, German literature, Translations into English