Theodor Fontane (2442 words)


Theodor Fontane was the prominent German nineteenth-century realist writer, famous for his understated and allusive conversational style, his astute society portraits and ambivalent stance towards social transgression. As a travel writer, war correspondent, theatre critic, novelist and poet, he was the only author of this period whose works both captured the social and emotional parochialism of nineteenth-century German life and, at the same time, showed the salons and clever economic manoeuvres of the bourgeoisie in the new capital Berlin, Germany’s first metropolis.

Fontane was born on 30 December 1819 in Neuruppin, a small town north-west of Berlin, as the first child of Louis Henri Fontane and Emilie Fontane, née Labry. …

Citation: Rau, Petra. "Theodor Fontane". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 February 2004 [, accessed 27 November 2020.]

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