By: Isidore Singer
German authoress; born May 24, 1811, in Königsberg, Prussia; died Aug. 5, 1889, in Dresden. In her seventeenth year she entered the Evangelical Church. In 1831, in company with her father, she made a tour through Germany and France, prolonging her stay in Breslau and Berlin. In 1834, to while away the hours of an invalid sister, she wrote a book of fairy-stories. It was not, however, until 1841 that she entered the literary arena with a novel entitled "Der Stellvertreter," published in serial form in the "Europa," a paper owned by a relative likewise named Lewald. Subsequently were published anonymously: "Klementine," 1842; "Jenny," 1843; "Eine Lebensfrage," 1845; "Das Arme Mädchen," 1845. In the spring of 1845 she made a tour of Italy, after which she settled in Berlin, where she married (1854) Adolph Stahr, the literary critic. In company with her husband she undertook a series of tours through Europe, her mind storing a wealth of impressions which were later to be called into requisition. Her literary productiveness during the years following upon this extended tour knew no bounds. One book followed another in quick succession, astonishing the reading public by their variety of subject and fertility of resource: "Italienisches Bilderbuch," 1847; "Diogena Roman von Iduna Gräfin H.-H.," giving a humorous portraiture of the Countess Hahn-Hahn; "Prinz Louis Ferdinand," 1849; "Erinnerungen aus dem Jahre 1848"; "Liebesbriefe," 1850, previously published 1845; "Dunenund Berggeschichten," 1850; "Reisetagbuch Durch England und Schottland," 1852; "Das Mädchen von Hela," 1853; "Meine Lebensgeschichte," 1861; "Von Geschlecht zu Geschlecht," a novel in eight volumes, 1863-65; "Osterbriefe für die Frauen," 1863; "Erzählungen," in three volumes, 1866-68; "Villa Riunione," 1868; "Sommer und Winter am Genfer See," a diary, 1869; "Für und Wider die Frauen," letters, 1870; "Nella," Christmas story, 1870; "Die Erlöserin," a novel, 1873; "Benedikt," 1874; "Benvenuto," a novel from the world of art, 1875; "Reisebriefe aus Italien, Deutschland, und Frankreich," 1880; "Helmar," a novel, 1880; "Vater und Sohn," a novel, 1881; "Vom Sund zum Posilipp," letters of travel, 1883; "Stella," a novel, 1884; "Die Familie Darner," a novel, 1887; "Zwölf Bilder nach dem Leben," 1888; etc. These are only a few of the productions of this versatile writer. In all more than fifty volumes can be accredited to a pen never idle. Fanny Lewald is remarkable for her keen observation of men and manners, for the firmness with which her characters are outlined, for the grace and finish of her style; a harsh realism, however, pervades her works. This tendency to realism prompts her to seek an ideal in the dispassionate man of affairs, who according to her standpoint may be relied upon to solve the problem of human existence. As a rule, this view precludes the possibility of frequent excursions into the world of the imagination, and except in rare cases is apt to stamp the work of the writer as devoid of that poetic charm so essential to the highest literary achievement. Her activity was not confined to literature. She was one of Germany's foremost leaders in the movement for the emancipation and advancement of women, favoring the opening to them of new fields of employment.