The Queen's Mirror: Fairy Tales by German Women, 1780-1900

By Shawn C. Jarvis; Jeannine Blackwell | Go to book overview

Hedwig Dohm
1833–1919

Hedwig Dohm was one of the strongest early voices for women’s emancipation in Germany. Author of several plays, novels, and essays, she is best known for her novella collection, Wie Frauen werden. Werde, die Du bist (How women become: become who you are, 1894), and a direct attack on the demagogues against the women’s movement, Die Anti-Feministen (The antifeminists, 1902). In addition, Dohm contributed to a variety of socialist and artistic journals. One of eighteen children, she was raised in Berlin but traveled widely in Europe with her husband, Ernst Dohm, intellectual leader and founder of the satirical journal Kladderadatsch. Hedwig Dohm is also known as the grandmother of Katja Pringsheim, the wife of Thomas Mann.

Her two fairy tales are found in collections: “Lotti Sorehead” (in Märchen für die lieben Kinder [Fairy tales for sweet children, 1883]) and “The Fragrance of Flowers” (in Märchenstrauß [A bouquet of fairy tales]). This tale presents a princess isolated high on a sterile, cold mountain who longs for living things, beautiful flowers, and the wonderful scents of a blooming garden. When she finds such a garden among the poor people at the bottom of the hill, she falls in love with the young gardener. Only the smell of his flowers can revive her to life, and, against her father’s wishes, the gardener wins her hand. The king dies of grief at this mésalliance; the couple lives happily ever after. This critique of class relations begins the socialist fairy tale tradition, associating the working class with blossoming organic nature, the exploitative classes with sterility and withered isolation.

Other tales to read with this piece include the anonymous “The Red Flower” in this collection and Susan Wade, “Like a Red, Red Rose” (in Datlow and Windling, eds., Snow White, Blood Red).

Hedwig Dohm, “Blumenduft,” in Märchenstrauß. Eine Sammlung von schönen Mär-
chen, Sagen und Schwänken. Gesammelt von Jul. Hirschmann, Verf. von Guckkastenbilder,
Histörchen, Mädchenspiegel, Blüthenjahre u. s. w
. (Berlin: Winckelmann und Söhne,
[1870]), 165–72.

-259-

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The Queen's Mirror: Fairy Tales by German Women, 1780-1900
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • European Women Writers Series ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction - The Historical Context of German Women’s Fairy Tales 1
  • Prologue - The Ghost Lady 1853 11
  • Catherine II, Empress of Russia (Known as Catherine the Great) 1729–1796 15
  • The Tale of Fewei 1784 17
  • Ludovica Brentano Jordis 1787–1854 27
  • The Lion and the Frog 1792/1793; 1814 29
  • Benedikte Naubert 1756–1819 33
  • Boadicea and Velleda 1795 35
  • Sophie Tieck Bernhardi Von Knorring 1755–1833 75
  • Sophie Tieck the Old Man in the Cave 1800 77
  • Anonymous 89
  • Anonymous the Giants’ Forest 1801 91
  • Karoline Von Günderrode 1780–1806 103
  • Temora 1804 105
  • Bettina Von Arnim 1785–1859 111
  • The Queen’s Son 1808 113
  • Amalie Von Helwig 1776–1831 117
  • The Symbols 1814 119
  • Anna Von Haxthausen 1801–1877 127
  • The Rescued Princess 1818 129
  • Karoline Stahl 1776–1837 133
  • The Godmothers 1818 135
  • Amalie Schoppe 1791–1858 141
  • The Kind and Diligent Housewife 1828 143
  • Agnes Franz 1794–1843 165
  • Princess Rosalieb a Fairy Tale 1841 167
  • Fanny Lewald 1811–1889 183
  • A Modern Fairy Tale 1841 185
  • Louise Dittmar 1807–1884 195
  • Tale of the Monkeys 1845 197
  • Sophie Von Baudissin 1813–1894 201
  • The Doll Institute 1849 203
  • Gisela Von Arnim 1827–1889 207
  • The Nasty Little Pea Ca. 1845 209
  • About the Hamster Ca. 1853 211
  • Marie Von Olfers 1826–1924 215
  • Little Princess 1862 217
  • Marie Timme 1830–1895 225
  • The King’s Child 1867 227
  • Elisabeth Ebeling 1828–1905 241
  • Black and White a Fairy Tale 1869 243
  • Hedwig Dohm 1833–1919 259
  • The Fragrance of Flowers 1870 261
  • Marie, Freifrau Von Ebner-Eschenbach 1830–1916 271
  • The Princess of Banalia 1872 273
  • Henriette Kühne-Harkort 1822–1894 299
  • Snow White Freely Adapted from the Grimms 1877 301
  • Elisabeth of Rumania 1843–1916 325
  • Furnica, or the Queen of the Ants 1883 327
  • Anonymous 335
  • The Red Flower 1893 337
  • Ricarda Huch 1864–1947 351
  • Pack of Lies 1896 353
  • Epilogue- Wedding Day 1853 359
  • Afterword from the Cradle to the Grave Reading These Tales 361
  • Bibliography 369
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