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Title: Benedikte Naubert (1756-1819) and her relations to English culture
Author: Brown, H.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2003
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This dissertation places the œuvre of Benedikte Naubert within the context of late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century Anglo-German literary relations. It thereby sheds light on two neglected areas of research in this field, namely the two-way traffic in popular literature an the participation of women writers in cross-cultural interchange. it seeks to determine whether Naubert may actually have been part of a cross-cultural female literary tradition. First, it examines her numerous anonymous translations of English popular novels.  It clarifies many bibliographical details for the first time, revealing that all the originals were probably by women and that Naubert was contributing to the spread of a distinctly feminine brand of literature in Germany. Secondly, it considers the ways in which English literature influenced her own concept of fiction. In common with other women writers, Naubert probably followed the precedent set by Samuel Richardson. Moreover, the format of her pioneering historical novels is strikingly reminiscent of Sophia Lee’s The Recess; or A Tale of Other Times (1783-85), which Naubert most probably translated. The links between Lee and Naubert point to the forgotten female genealogy of the historical novel in Europe. Thirdly, the dissertation looks specifically at the novels and stories which are set in Britain or have British protagonists. It shows how Naubert appropriated feminine genres such as the (historical) romance and the fairy tale to engage with the political discourses of the Enlightenment. Finally, it explores the reception of her works in Britain. It describes how translators and writers approached the texts and how they frequently ignored the subtleties of her prose. Naubert was principally perceived to be a Gothic writer, and her productions went out of fashion as popular tastes changed. All in all, this case-study of Benedikte Naubert indicates that English literature was important to women writers in Germany and to the development of their work, but that German literature did not have the same impact on women writers in Britain who already had a much more established literary tradition of their own.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available