Mareena Smith



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Rahel Levin Varnhagen: Influence of a Jewess on German Romanticism. Life is not always a box of chocolates, especially if one is part of a marginalized race, religion or gender. Since all three apply to Rahel Levin Varnhagen, one can easily imply that she did not live an easy life. She was raised as a Jewess in a time when Jews were welcome in society but not yet fully integrated into it. As a woman she was limited to a particular lifestyle as well, and yet she took advantage of her surroundings to make a place for herself in the formation of German Romanticism. Due to her self-education emphasizing enlightenment thinking, her non-partiality and the salons she hosted, Rahel Varnhagen proved to be an essential element of the German romantic movement in Berlin.


This work is part of the Sophie Digital Library, an open-access, full-text-searchable source of literature written by German-speaking women from medieval times through the early 20th century. The collection, covers a broad spectrum of genres and is designed to showcase literary works that have been neglected for too long. These works are made available both in facsimiles of their original format, wherever possible, as well as in a PDF transcription that promotes ease of reading and is amenable to keyword searching.

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German Literature

Rahel Levin Varnahagen: Harnessing the Ability to Become