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Translator’s Note

This attempt at Schiller’s Wallenstein seeks to bring that extraordinary trilogy to young people in college-level instruction and to the general reader. It joins Fiesco1 in a growing series of translations, with commentary, of Schiller’s major plays, which Open Book Publishers makes freely available to a wide readership.

Endnotes add brief information to clarify the many historical references in the text; they comment on the rare obscurities and repeatedly they call attention to a web of internal reference that draws a work of nearly eight thousand lines into a dense, capacious whole. These references are noted by act, scene, and line number to bring before the reader ever and again the economy that distinguishes drama from the other genres.

A glossary of Notable Names intends to give quick aid when the reader cannot keep all the Friedrichs and Ferdinands here entirely straight or quite remember where it was that Tilly met his end. It also offers a small amount of information beyond the endnotes, particularly on the historical dimension of figures whom Schiller has reinvented for the purposes of his great drama.

For both the endnotes and the glossary I am deeply indebted to Frithjof Stock, editor of the edition Deutsche Klassiker, Frankfurt am Main, 2000, the text on which the translation is based, and to the ever-concise and evergreen Columbia Encyclopedia, third edition, New York, 1963. Roger Paulin, generously, helped me rid the text of weighty Latin words and other blots. Alessandra Tosi presided over it all with patience and forbearance and a fund of good solutions. Christoph Kimmich’s conversation sustained me in this whole long labor, to say nothing of his resourcefulness in wrestling a typescript as thorny as was this one from an unyielding computer.

Additional Resources

Readers can freely access the original German text of Schiller’s Wallenstein (Stuttgart and Berlin: J. G. Cotta’sche Buchhandlung Nachfolger, 1911) at Project Gutenberg, http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/6518

A reading of the drama (in German) is freely available at LibriVox, https://librivox.org/wallenstein-ein-dramatisches-gedicht-by-friedrich-von-schiller


1 Friedrich Schiller, Fiesco’s Conspiracy at Genoa, edited by John Guthrie, translated by Flora Kimmich (Cambridge: Open Book Publishers, 2015), https://www.openbookpublishers.com/product/261