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

The Red Countess: Select Autobiographical and Fictional Writing of Hermynia Zur Mühlen (1883-1951) Hermynia Zur Mühlen. Translation, annotations and essay by Lionel Gossman
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-78374-554-8 £19.95
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Praise for the first edition of this book:

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): 106-07.

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.

Zur Mühlen 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

The Red Countess: Select Autobiographical and Fictional Writing of Hermynia Zur Mühlen (1883-1951)
Lionel Gossman | August 2018
452 | 17 b&w illustrations | 6.14" x 9.21" (234 x 156 mm)
ISBN Paperback: 9781783745548
ISBN Hardback: 9781783745555
ISBN Digital (PDF): 9781783745562
ISBN Digital ebook (epub): 9781783745579
ISBN Digital ebook (mobi): 9781783745586
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0140
Subject codes: BIC: BGH (Biography: historical, political & military), FSJ1 (Gender Studies: women), HBJD (European history); BISAC: BIO022000 (BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Women), LIT003000 (LITERARY CRITICISM / Feminist); OCLC Number: 1148149711.

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Translator’s Introductory Note


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

2. Supplement to The End and the Beginning

3. Notes on Persons and Events Mentioned in the Memoir

4. Feuilletons and Fairy Tales: A Sampling

Editor’s Note

The Red Redeemer


High Treason

Death of a Shade

A Secondary Happiness

The Señora

Miss Brington

We Have to Tell Them

Painted on Ivory

The Sparrow

The Spectacles

5. Our Daughters the Nazi Girls. A Synopsis in English

6. Remembering Hermynia Zur Mühlen: A Tribute

7. Works by Hermynia Zur Mühlen in English Translation

8. Image Portfolio

List of Illustrations

Lionel Gossman was M. Taylor Pyne Professor of Romance Languages (Emeritus) at Princeton University. Most of his work revolved around 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 The Passion of Max von Oppenheim: Archaeology and Intrigue in the Middle East from Wilhelm II to HitlerBrownshirt Princess: A Study of the 'Nazi Conscience', and Thomas Annan of Glasgow: Pioneer of the Documentary Photograph  For OBP he also edited and translated (with Flora Kimmich and Edward K. Kaplan)  On History, a collection of essays by Jules Michelet. 
Lionel's obituary is available at https://www.princeton.edu/news/2021/01/15/lionel-gossman-specialist-french-literature-and-history-and-one-great-humanists-and.

Please find below  the online supplements available for this volume:

Appendix I: A Recollection of Hermynia Zur Mühlen and Stefan Klein by Sándor Márai
Appendix II: Ideas of Class and Proletarian Consciousness in the Writing of Hermynia Zur Mühlen by Patrik von zur Mühlen. Translated by L. Gossman
Appendix III: Zur Mühlen as Translator of Upton Sinclair by Lionel Gossman
Appendix IV: "Fairy Tales for Workers’ Children.” Zur Mühlen and the Socialist Fairy Tale, by Lionel Gossman