Elise Bowen, Brigham Young University
Marie Hirsch was born in Hamburg on March 12, 1848 to an upper-class family from Vienna. Her parents died young and left her to the care of older siblings, who encouraged her education. She became a writer and a translator, working primarily with Spanish. She wrote under the male pseudonym of Adalbert Meinhardt in order to publish books without drawing attention or criticism, though she stated she would have preferred to write under her real name when her books became well known and sold. She refrained from doing so because of the stigma surrounding female writers and her publisher’s strong feelings against it. Hirsch traveled extensively throughout Europe and Africa, broadening her language and appreciating literature everywhere. Her novels feature characters in search of happiness, and include the internal struggle between duty and desire. Many of those who successfully find joy and inner peace are women, unusual for her time. She passed away in 1911 on November 17.
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