Lily Braun (1865-1916): German Writer, Feminist, Socialist

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Lily Braun, born to a prominent aristocratic family in 1865, became one of the leading German feminists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and a very successful writer, both of feminist political tracts and of novelistic works. She played a leadership role in German feminism with such groups as the Verein Frauenwohl (Association for Women's Well-Being) and the Social Democratic Party; her efforts included lobbying for the establishment of maternity insurance and better education and housing for women. ...
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Overview

Lily Braun, born to a prominent aristocratic family in 1865, became one of the leading German feminists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and a very successful writer, both of feminist political tracts and of novelistic works. She played a leadership role in German feminism with such groups as the Verein Frauenwohl (Association for Women's Well-Being) and the Social Democratic Party; her efforts included lobbying for the establishment of maternity insurance and better education and housing for women. Despite her energetic activism, she came into increasing conflict with other leading socialist women -- most notably Clara Zetkin -- who were suspicious of her aristocratic origins and her relatively bourgeois brand of socialism. This led her to retreat from politics and pursue a longtime interest in writing with works such as the fictionalized account of her grandmother's life in Goethe's Weimar, Im Schatten der Titanen (In the Shadow of the Titans) and the later, thinly fictionalized Memoiren einer Sozialistin (Memoirs of a Socialist), based on her own life. Startlingly, by 1914 Braun was espousing nationalistic ideas that would later be taken up by the National Socialists, and had repudiated many of her long-held feminist stances. She was no longer a pacifist, and her 'feminism' now encompassed racial hygiene. Lischke provides a view of both the political and the literary sides of this enigmatic figure, as well as views of the German feminism and literary trends of the period. Ute Lischke is professor of German and co-ordinator of International Studies Programs at the University of Toronto.
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Editorial Reviews

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This work will be the definitive English-language account of this important figure, and will greatly enrich our understanding of the fascinating and in some ways exemplary tensions in 'first wave' feminism, in Germany. --Herminia Joldersma A lively portrait of a courageous and politically oriented feminist... --G. Brude-Firnau The book explains Braun's turn toward feminism and eroticism... and her move toward nationalism. Interesting and easy to read. CHOICE Lischke has achieved a striking overall assessment and uncovered a number of highly significant shifts of position in Braun's intellectual development. JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN STUDIES ... presents a comprehensive view of her work for the first time -- tracing on the way her contacts with British socialism. FORUM FOR MODERN LANGUAGE STUDIES an extremely useful introduction to the feminism and socialism of Lily Braun... GERMAN STUDIES REVIEW The author succeeds in drawing a nuanced picture in which the nationalistic ideas of Braun are not overlooked.... The book is a useful reference work for those interested in feminist history. GERMANISTIK
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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
Acknowledgments
Works Frequently Cited
Introduction
1 The Women's Movement in Wilhelmine Germany 1
2 The Apprenticeship of Lily Braun 1885-1893 8
3 Berlin - Intellectual Development 1893-1895 21
4 Social Democracy and Radical Feminism 1896-1901 35
5 The Women's Question 1901-1903 61
6 Radical Feminist at the Fringe of the Social Democratic Party 1903-1907 73
7 In the Shadow of the Titans: Romanticized Family History 1908 82
8 Memoirs of a Socialist: Writing Autobiography as Bildungsroman 1909-1911 88
9 Feminism, Eroticism, and Art 1911-1914 99
10 The First World War: Identity, Race, and Ethnicity 1914-1916 111
Conclusion 123
Works Consulted 127
Index 137
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