Rahel Levin Varnhagen: The Life and Work of a German Jewish Intellectual

Synopsis

Rahel Levin Varnhagen (1771-1833) occupied a unique place in German intellectual history. She is known for the salon she initiated in Berlin, which became a center for intellectuals & artists of various social classes - especially for writers of the Romantic & the Young Germany schools. Based on research at the rediscovered Varhagen is recognized as the author of a unique epistolary oeuvre. The author gives a rich account of Varnhagen's intellectual community, made up of such figures as Friedrich & Dorothea Schlegel, Clemens Brentano, Goethe, Hegel, Leopold Ranke, Heine, & the assimilated Jewish community in Berlin. The author also discusses Varnhagen's writings on women, philosophy, literature, Jews, & a host of other topics. In particular, she highlights Varnhagen's insights into - & vehement protests against - discrimination against women & Jews. These writings let to Varnhagen's reputation as a leading intellectual of her era - a champion of literary figures & movements, of human rights, & of Enlightenment values.

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