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The End and the Beginning: The Book of My Life

The End and the Beginning: The Book of My Life Hermynia Zur Mühlen. Translation, Introduction and Comments by Lionel Gossman.
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-906924-27-0 £15.95
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-906924-28-7 £29.95
PDF ISBN: 978-1-906924-29-4 £0.00

Click here to read the PDF online for free Click here to read the HTML online for free

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, Journal of European Studies 42 (1)
Taylor Professor of the German Language and Literature University of Oxford

First published in Germany in 1929, The End and the Beginning is a lively memoir of a vanished world and of a rebellious young woman’s struggle to achieve independence.
Born in 1883 into a distinguished and wealthy aristocratic family of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire, Hermynia Zur Mühlen spent much of her childhood traveling in Europe and North Africa with her diplomat father. After five years on her German husband’s estate in czarist Russia she broke with both her family and her husband and set out on a precarious career as a professional writer committed to socialism. As well as translating many leading contemporary authors, notably Upton Sinclair, into German, she herself published an impressive number of politically engaged novels, detective stories, short stories, and children’s fairy tales. Because of her outspoken opposition to National Socialism, she had to flee her native Austria in 1938 and seek refuge in England, where she died, virtually penniless, in 1951.
This revised and corrected translation of Zur Mühlen’s memoir—with extensive notes and an essay on the author by Lionel Gossman—will appeal especially to readers interested in women’s history, World War I, and the culture and politics of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Seven free online supplements are also provided, containing additional original material including a selection of newly translated stories by Zur Mühlen, biographical essays by Gossman and a portfolio of images.

The Federal Ministry of Education, Art, and Culture, Department of Literature (/BMUKK-Kultur; Literaturabteilung), Vienna, Austria, has generously contributed towards the publication of this volume.

The End and the Beginning: The Book of My Life
Hermynia Zur Mühlen | October 2010
Editor and Translator: Lionel Gossman
295 | 35 black and white illustrations | 6.14" x 9.21" (234 x 156 mm)
ISBN Paperback: 9781906924270
ISBN Hardback: 9781906924287
ISBN Digital (PDF): 9781906924294
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0010
BIC subject codes: BGH (Biography: historical, political & military), FSJ1 (Gender Studies: women)

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Translator’s Introductory Note

1. The End and the Beginning: The Book of My Life
Hermynia Zur Mühlen

2. 1950 Supplement to Ende und Anfang
Hermynia Zur Mühlen

3. Notes on persons and events mentioned in the memoir

4. Remembering Hermynia Zur Mühlen: A Tribute
Lionel Gossman

List of works by Hermynia Zur Mühlen in English translation

Lionel Gossman is M. Taylor Pyne Professor of Romance Languages (Emeritus) at Princeton University. Most of his work has been on seventeenth and eighteenth-century French literature, nineteenth-century European cultural history, and the theory and practice of historiography. His publications include Men and Masks: A Study of Molière; Medievalism and the Ideologies of the Enlightenment; French Society and Culture: Background for 18th Century Literature; The Empire Unpossess’d: An Essay on Gibbon’s "Decline and Fall”; Between History and Literature; Basel in the Age of Burckhardt: A Study in Unseasonable Ideas; The Making of a Romantic Icon: The Religious Context of Friedrich Overbeck’s "Italia und Germania”; and several edited volumes: The Charles Sanders Peirce Symposium on Semiotics and the Arts; Building a Profession: Autobiographical Perspectives on the Beginnings of Comparative Literature in the United States (with Mihai Spariosu); Geneva-Zurich-Basel: History, Culture, and National Identity, and Begegnungen mit Jacob Burckhardt (with Andreas Cesana). He is also author of Brownshirt Princess: A Study of the 'Nazi Conscience' and The Passion of Max von Oppenheim: Archaeology and Intrigue in the Middle East from Wilhelm II to Hitler, and editor and translator of On History a collection of essays by Jules Michelet, all published by Open Book Publishers.

There are seven online supplements associated with The End and the Beginning.

I. Feuilletons and fairy tales. A sampling by Hermynia Zur Mühlen (Translated by Lionel Gossman)
Containing: Editor’s Note (Gossman); 1. The Red Redeemer; 2. Confession; 3. High Treason;  4. Death of a Shade;  5. A Secondary Happiness;  6. The Señora;  7. Miss Brington;  8. We have to tell them;  9. Painted on Ivory;  10. The Sparrow;  11. The Spectacles.

II. Unsere Töchter die Nazinen (Our Daughters the Nazi Girls). A Synopsis.

III. A Recollection of Hermynia Zur Mühlen and Stefan Klein by Sándor Márai, the well-known Hungarian novelist and author of Embers (Translated by L. Gossman)

IV. Ideas of Class and Proletarian Consciousness in the Writing of Hermynia Zur Mühlen by Patrik von zur Mühlen (Translated by L. Gossman)

V. "Fairy Tales for Workers’ Children.” Zur Mühlen and the Socialist Fairy Tale (Written by L. Gossman)

VI. Zur Mühlen as Translator of Upton Sinclair (Written by L. Gossman)

VII. Image Portfolio (Prepared by L. Gossman)

  1. Illustrations from Was Peterchens Freunde erzählen. Märchen von Hermynia Zur Mühlen mit Zeichnungen von Georg Grosz (Berlin: Der Malik-Verlag, 1921);
  2. Illustrations from Upton Sinclair, Hundert Prozent. Autorisierte Übersetzung von Hermynia zur Muehlen, 10 Lithographien von Georg Grosz (Berlin: Der Malik Verlag, 1921. Die Rote Romane-Serie, 2);
  3. Illustrations from Hermynia zur Mühlen, Es war einmal…und es wird sein. Märchen. Umschlag, Initialen und Bilder zeichnete Heinrich Vogeler (Berlin: Verlag der Jugendinternationale, 1930) and from Schmiede der Zukunft (Berlin: Verlag der    Jugendinternationale, 1933); 
  4. John Heartfield. Cover designs for Zur Mühlen’s translations of Sinclair’s novels.

"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
Reader in German Literature and Culture
University of Cambridge
"Hermynia Zur Mühlen's eminently readable memoir of her remarkable life gives a fascinating account not only of the various stages of her global and multicultural experiences but also of the European period from the late 19th to early 20th century. She possesses an almost uncanny talent for bringing to life the whole period as an astute and critical contemporary. One can only admire her gift as narrator and her sharp analytical ability. No wonder she was so highly regarded during the Weimar Period in Germany. Lionel Gossman's translation is both accurate and congenial, his 'Notes on Persons and Ends' provide a treasure trove of information. One can only hope that this important discovery finds many readers."
Walter Hinderer
Professor of German
Princeton University