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Fontane-Pietsch collection

 Collection
Identifier: MS-0077
Ludwig Pietsch (1824–1911), a German critic, and Theodor Fontane (1819–1898), a German writer, maintained a long friendship. The Fontane-Pietsch collection consist of photographs, newspaper clippings and letters from 1845-approximately 1898. There is also an article describing the Fontane-Pietsch correspondence dated 1977. The collection is in German, though some English translations have been made.

Dates

  • 1845-approximately 1898, 1977

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information.

Collection is open for use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Extent

0.24 Cubic Feet (1 legal half-size document box)

Biographical / Historical

Ludwig Pietsch was born in Danzig in 1824, and came to Berlin at the age of 17 to study at the academy of art. However, his studies were broken off because of the necessity of providing for his rapidly increasing family. In 1852 an unexpected opportunity occurred for Pietsch which was to change the course of his life. This was an article illustrated and written by Pietsch published in the Leipziger Illustrierte Zeitung, which described in detail an unusually beautiful piece of decorative art by Albert Wolff. The article was highly successful and further contributions were requested of Pietsch. This acknowledgement of his literary and artistic talents emboldened Pietsch to submit illustrated articles to many well known periodicals during the years which followed. In addition, he illustrated major works of classical and modern literature, and produced portraits of numerous well known personalities of the day.

In 1864 Pietsch joined the Vossische Zeitung as correspondent and art critic. He travelled widely in Europe, North Africa and the Orient, writing vivid articles with the eye of an artist. Pietsch became a well known literary and artistic figure and was a prominent member of the circle of writers, artists and intellectuals in Berlin. During the last 3 decades of the 19th century he exerted much influence on the literary and cultural life of the city. There existed between Pietsch and Fontane a warm personal as well as professional relationship. Pietsch died in 1911 at the age of 87.

Biographical Note

Theodor Fontane was born in Neurupping, near Berlin in 1819, the son of an apothecary of Huguenot extraction. Between the years 1839-1849 Fontane was trained and employed in pharmacy in Berlin, Leipzig and Dresden. At the same time he developed a growing interest in literature, writing ballads and translating English poetry.

Fontane made a second visit to England in 1852 and this was followed two years later by his first travel book "Ein Sommer in London." In Berlin he worked in the Central Press Section of the Manteuffel Administration and was made their representative in London in 1855. He remained in London until 1859 writing for a number of Prussian newspapers and periodicals on political and cultural subjects, particularly theatre and art. He reviewed many Shakespearean productions on the London stage. A visit to Scotland led to the publication in 1860 of another travel book "Jenseits des Tweed." This was the forerunner of the series of volumes "Wanderungen durch die Mark Brandenburg." From 1860 until his resignation in 1870 Fontane worked as editor concerned with English affairs on the staff of the Kreuzzeitung in Berlin. He published a number of war books: on the Danish-Prussian war over Schleswig-Holstein in 1864; the Prussian-Austrian war in 1866; and the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1871 in which he described his experience as a war correspondent. In 1870 he became theatre critic for the Vossische Zeitung and continued his reviews for the next 20 years. Having made his mark as a poet primarily with his ballads, as journalist and author of war and travel books, Fontane was nearly 60 years old when he published his first novel "Vor dem Storm." His best known novels are "L'Adultera" (1882), "Irrungen, Wirrungen" (1888) and "Effi Briest" (1895). Fontane died in Berlin in 1898.

Scope and Contents

The Fontane-Pietsch papers consist of photographs, newspaper clippings and letters from 1845-approximately 1898. There is also an article describing the Fontane-Pietsch correspondence by Lieselotte E. Kurth-Voigt dated 1977. The collection is in German and spans the years 1845 to 1977.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was the property of the Leipzig historian Alfred Dorner and his wife Anna, the latter a granddaughter of Ludwig Pietsch. In 1937, after the Dorners' deaths, the collection came to Professor Katzenellenbogen's widow who presented the collection to Johns Hopkins University in 1976.

General

English-language translations of some of the letters exist offline. Please contact Special Collections for more information.

Processing Information

Processed by M.C. Beecheno in 1981.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Contact:
The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
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Baltimore MD 21218 USA