Luise Gottsched the Translator

Luise Gottsched the Translator

Hilary Brown


Camden House



By focusing on Luise Gottsched's extraordinary volume and range of translations, Hilary Brown sheds an entirely new light on Gottsched and her oeuvre.
Critics have paid increasing attention to the oeuvre of Luise Gottsched (1713-62), Germany's first prominent woman of letters, but have neglected her lifelong work of translation, which encompassed over fifty volumes and an extraordinary range, from drama and poetry to philosophy, history, archaeology, even theoretical physics. This first comprehensive overview of Gottsched's translations places them in the context of eighteenth-century intellectual, literary, and cultural history, showing that they were part of an ambitious, progressive program undertaken with her famous husband to shape German culture during the Enlightenment. In doing so it casts Gottsched and her work in an entirely new light. Including chapters on all the main subject areas and genres from which Gottsched translated, it also explores the relationship between her translations and her original works, demonstrating that translation was central to her oeuvre. A bibliography of Gottsched's translations and source texts concludes the volume. Not only a major new addition to a growing body of research on the Gottscheds, the book will also be valuable reading for scholars interested more broadly in women's writing, the history of translation, and the literature and culture of the German (and European) Enlightenment.

Hilary Brown is Lecturer at the University of Birmingham, UK.


July 2012
7 black and white illustrations
256 pages
9x6 in
Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture
ISBN: 9781571135100
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Camden House
BISAC LIT004170, LIT004120, LIT011000
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Table of Contents

Gottsched as Female Translator
Philosophy and Religion
Poetry and Literary Prose
Science and Scholarship
Translation and "Original" Writing
Appendix: Luise Gottsched's Translations and Adaptations
Works Cited


(G)round-breaking . . . . (T)his is an excellent study. It opens up a woefully neglected aspect of research into Luise Gottsched and points the way to the need for further exploration of early women translators and indeed of the scope and role of translation more generally. --John L. Flood, MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW

(A) welcome reassessment of Luise Gottsched's activities as a translator. . . . Brown is not the first to have noticed the high quality of some of Gottsched's translations but she is the first to see them in the broader context of the development of translation in the Enlightenment. . . . (W)ell researched and makes an important contribution to our understanding of the processes of translation in eighteenth-century Germany. JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN STUDIES

In this attractive book, Brown . . . illuminates Luise Gottsched's unrecognized contributions to the Enlightenment. . . . (She) provides new perspectives and suggests further study of translation and of an Enlightenment woman's unexamined depth of achievements. . . . Highly recommended. CHOICE

This work performs a valuable service to the study of eighteenth-century German literature and thought. It brings to light an important part of the work of Luise Gottsched, and adds to our sense of her formidable intellectual achievements. More broadly, it shows how crucial translation was as a driving force in the project of Enlightenment. --K. F. Hilliard, University Lecturer and Fellow in German, St. Peter's College, Oxford

Brown - an expert particularly on women's intellectual culture of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries - has made in several senses a pioneering achievement. . . . With (Luise Gottsched's) translations Brown deals with a to-date strongly neglected area of (her) activity, although it makes up the greatest part of (her) oeuvre. . . . The book can be recommended equally to specialists on and students of Gottsched - a concept that Luise Gottsched, whose efforts at disseminating literary works were never limited to just the learned classes, would have certainly applauded. ARBITRIUM

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