The Red Countess: Select Autobiographical and Fictional Writing of Hermynia Zur Mühlen (1883-1951) - cover image


Lionel Gossman

Published On





  • English

Print Length

451 pages (vi + 445)


Paperback156 x 23 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.91" x 9.21")
Hardback156 x 25 x 234 mm(6.14" x 1" x 9.21")


Paperback1389g (49.00oz)
Hardback1781g (62.82oz)



OCLC Number





  • BGH


  • BIO006000
  • BIO022000
  • BIO026000


  • PT2653.U7


  • World War I
  • First World War
  • Great War
  • women's history
  • memoir
  • biography
  • autobiography
  • Germany
  • European History
  • German literature
  • Austrian literature
  • feminism
  • Nazism
  • Austro-Hungarian Empire

The Red Countess

Select Autobiographical and Fictional Writing of Hermynia Zur Mühlen (1883-1951)

2nd Edition

  • Hermynia Zur Mühlen (author)
  • Lionel Gossman (editor)
Born into a distinguished aristocratic family of the old Habsburg Empire, Hermynia Zur Mühlen spent much of her childhood and early youth travelling in Europe and North Africa with her diplomat father. Never comfortable with the traditional roles women were expected to play, she broke as a young adult both with her family and, after five years on his estate in the old Czarist Russia, with her German Junker husband, and set out as an independent, free-thinking individual, earning a precarious living as a writer. She translated over 70 books from English, French and Russian into German, notably the novels of Upton Sinclair, which she turned into best-sellers in Germany; produced a series of detective novels under a pseudonym; wrote seven engaging and thought-provoking novels of her own, six of which were translated into English; contributed countless insightful short stories and articles to newspapers and magazines; and, having become a committed socialist, achieved international renown in the 1920s with her Fairy Tales for Workers’ Children, which were widely translated including into Chinese and Japanese. Because of her fervent and outspoken opposition to National Socialism, she and her life-long Jewish partner, Stefan Klein, had to flee first Germany, where they had settled, and then, in 1938, her native Austria. They found refuge in England, where Zur Mühlen died, forgotten and virtually penniless, in 1951. This new, expanded edition contains: Zur Mühlen’s autobiographical memoir, The End and the Beginning; The editor’s detailed notes on the persons and events mentioned in the autobiography; A selection of Zur Mühlen’s short stories and two fairy tales; A synopsis of Zur Mühlen’s untranslated novel Our Daughters the Nazi Girls; An essay by the Editor on Zur Mühlen’s life and work; A bibliography of Zur Mühlen’s novels in English translation; A portfolio of selected illustrations of her work by George Grosz and Heinrich Vogeler; A free online supplement with additional original material


This translation is something of an event. For the first time, it makes Zur Mühlen’s text available to English-speaking readers in a reliable version.

David Midgley

University of Cambridge


[This book] represents exceptional value, both as an enjoyable read and as an introduction to an attractive author who amply deserves rediscovery.

Ritchie Robertson

"Book Review: Hermynia Zur Mühlen: The End and the Beginning: The Book of my Life". Journal of European Studies (1740-2379), vol. 42, no. 1, 2012. doi:10.1177/0047244111428848w

Full Review


  • Hermynia Zur Mühlen
  • Hermynia Zur Mühlen
  • Hermynia Zur Mühlen
  • Lionel Gossman


Hermynia Zur Mühlen


Lionel Gossman

M. Taylor Pyne Professor of Romance Languages at Princeton University