BERNSTEIN, ELSA (pseudonym, Ernst Rosmer):

German dramatist; daughter of Heinrich Porges, the friend of Richard Wagner; born at Vienna; educated at Munich; and, for a short time, on the stage. An afiliction of the eyes forcing her to retire, she thenceforth devoted herself to dramatic literature. Shortly after her marriage in 1892 to Max Bernstein, she wrote her first play, "Wir Drei," which created considerable discussion. It was really a dramatized version of the matrimonial and sexual views of Taine and Zola. Her next plays fell rather flat: "Dämmerung," 1893; "Die Mutter Maria," 1894; "Tedeum," 1896; "Themistokles," 1897; and "Daguy Peters." But unbounded admiration was elicited by "Die Königskinder," 1895—a dramatic fairy-tale. Though its plot was simple, the beauty of the theme and its poetry were such as to class it with Fulda's "Der Talisman."

  • Das Jüngste Deutschland, pp. 317-320;
  • Kürschner, Deutscher Litteratur-Kalender, 1901, p. 91;
  • Lexikon Deutscher Frauen der Feder, i. 61;
  • ib. ii. 203.
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