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German Poetry about Scotland
by Gabriele Roeder

  • Theodor Fontane (1819 - 1898)
    The German author Theodor Fontane  was very fond of Scottish history. Of course, as common in his time, his perspective is rather romantic. He wrote travel diary "Jenseit des Tweed" (Beyond the Tweed, publ. 1860) when he visited Scotland in 1858, deeply influenced by the novels of Sir Walter Scott and the romantic view of Scotland. The book combines his own experiences with historical information, place descriptions and anecdotes, seasoned with German translations of some poems, mostly by the celebrated Burns. Edinburgh is honoured by several chapters. Other places visited are: Linlithgow, Stirling, Loch Lomond and Loch Katrine, Flodden Field, Perth, Inverness, Culloden, Staffa and Iona, Lochleven Castle, Abbotsford, and Melrose Abbey. (There is an English translation of the book, titled "Across the Tweed" by B. Battershaw, 1965.)
  • Theodor Storm (1817 - 1888)
    He too was a poet and a novel-writer (and a lawyer). He lived most of the time in a town by the shore of the North Sea called Husum and many of his poems describe this landscape (the coast being not rocky but flat and sandy with a large area left free by low tide - the so-called Watt -, the land partly covered with heather and fir-woods) and give the atmosphere of a land deeply influenced by the sea. The poems I will present describe the land and the town of Husum. From 1852-1863 Storm had to live in exile in Berlin because he said the wrong things about the Danish occupation of the county of Schleswig-Holstein. In Berlin he met Fontane and became member in the same literary circle "Der Tunnel über der Spree".

Return to Poetry & Stories | See also Gabriele's book, "The Exiles"


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