Sophie von La Roche Criticism - Essay

J. G. Robertson (essay date 1932)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Robertson, J. G. “Sophie von La Roche's visit to England in 1786.” The Modern Language Review 27, no. 2 (April 1932): 196-203.

[In the following essay, Robertson provides an overview of Sophie von La Roche's travel writings, with specific attention to her perception of eighteenth century England and her 1788 publication Tagebuch einer Reise durch Holland und England.]

In reading Mr P. S. Matheson's interesting Taylorian lecture of 1930 on German visitors to England between 1770 and 17951, which gives an account of the works on England by Moritz, Wendeborn, Archenholz and Lichtenberg, I have been reminded of another record of a stay in...

(The entire section is 3653 words.)

Peter Petschauer (essay date 1982)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Petschauer, Peter. “Sophie von La Roche: Novelist between Reason and Emotion.” The Germanic Review 57, no. 2 (spring/summer 1982): 70-77.

[In the following essay, Petschauer discusses La Roche's moderate Romanticism.]

During and after her life, Sophie von La Roche was acclaimed for many reasons. Most importantly, she was the first great love of the poet Christoph Martin Wieland, and she was hailed as one of Germany's first successful female novelists. Just as importantly, years before Theodore von Hippel and Mary Wollstonecraft, she concerned herself with issues that later were at the core of feminist discussions.1 It was a reading of her best...

(The entire section is 7733 words.)

Ruth-Ellen B. Joeres (essay date 1986)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Joeres, Ruth-Ellen B. “‘That Girl Is an Entirely Different Character!’1 Yes, But Is She a Feminist?: Observations on Sophie von La Roche's Geschichte des Fräuleins von Sternheim.” In German Women in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries: A Social and Literary History, edited by Ruth-Ellen B. Joeres and Mary Jo Maynes, pp. 137-56. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986.

[In the following essay, Joeres explores Geschichte des Fräuleins von Sternheim for its feminist aspects, which center on the literacy and education of the author and main character.]

The pinpointing of feminist thought in literary works from centuries...

(The entire section is 9089 words.)

Sally Winkle (essay date 1989)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Winkle, Sally. “Innovation and Convention in Sophie La Roche's The Story of Miss von Sternheim and Rosalia's Letters.” In Writing the Female Voice: Essays on Epistolary Literature, edited by Elizabeth C. Goldsmith, pp. 77-94. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1989.

[In the following essay, Winkle compares La Roche's The Story of Miss von Sternheim to Rosalia's Letters, demonstrating that La Roche became increasingly conventional in her style and subject matter as she espoused the developing late eighteenth-century view of the intrinsic differences between men and women.]

In 1771, with the publication of her first novel,...

(The entire section is 7340 words.)

Christa Bagus Britt (essay date 1991)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Britt, Christa Bagus. Introduction to Sophie von La Roche's The History of Lady Sophia Sternheim, edited by Marilyn Gaddis Rose, pp. 3-30. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press, 1991.

[In the following excerpt, Britt looks at La Roche's life, the events leading up to the publication of Die Geschichte des Fräuleins von Sternheim, the various editions of the novel, and the author's place in German literary history, providing a comparative analysis of La Roche's novel with Samuel Richardson's Clarissa.]

Sophie von La Roche is generally credited with being the first female German novelist and author of the first German women's novel. Die...

(The entire section is 12889 words.)

Ute Brandes (essay date 1992)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Brandes, Ute. “Escape to America: Social Reality and Utopian Schemes in German Women's Novels Around 1800.” In In the Shadow of Olympus: German Women Writers Around 1800, edited by Katherine R. Goodman and Edith Waldstein, pp. 157-71. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press, 1992.

[In the following essay, Brandes looks at the works of three women writers—La Roche's Erscheinungen am See Oneida, Sophie Mereau's Das Blüthenalter der Empfindung, and Henriette Frölich's Virginia, oder die Republik von Kentucky—and focuses on how they envisioned and redefined the utopian ideal.]

America! The land of milk and honey, the...

(The entire section is 6701 words.)

Helga Schutte Watt (essay date 1994)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Watt, Helga Schutte. “Woman's Progress: Sophie La Roche's Travelogues 1787-1788.” The Germanic Review 69, no. 2 (spring 1994): 50-60.

[In the following essay, Watt highlights the manner in which La Roche's travelogues assert the traditional role of women and provide information about women's professional and artistic accomplishments.]

Sophie La Roche (1730-1807) was the first well-known German woman to publish travelogues. There were illustrious French and English predecessors, most notably Lady Mary Wortley Montagu whose Turkish Embassy Letters (1763) are justly celebrated to this day. In the eighteenth century, travel literature was enjoying its...

(The entire section is 9717 words.)

Christina Swanson (essay date 1996)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Swanson, Christina. “Textual Transgression in the Epistolary Mode: Sophie von La Roche's Geschichte des Fräuleins von Sternheim.Michigan Germanic Studies 22, no. 2 (fall 1996): 144-61.

[In the following essay, Swanson offers a feminist reading of La Roche's Geschichte de Fräuleins von Sternheim, arguing that the novel's epistolary nature is the author's attempt as a female writer to assert authority over her subject.]

In Christoph Martin Wieland's editorial introduction to Sophie La Roche's Geschichte des Fräuleins von Sternheim (1771), he addresses his comments to “meine Freundin,” the fictional author of the...

(The entire section is 8166 words.)

Regina Umbach (essay date 1999)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Umbach, Regina. “The Role of Anglophilia in Sophie von La Roche's Geschichte des Fräuleins von Sternheim (1771).” German Life and Letters 52, no. 1 (January 1999): 1-12.

[In the following essay, Umbach discusses La Roche's Anglophilia as a driving force behind Geschichte des Fräuleins von Sternheim, which like Samuel Richardson's Clarissa, is focused on moral instruction.]

Over the course of the eighteenth century, Britain and Germany developed increasingly close links: dynastic connections, trade relations,1 and a growing book and translation market furthered their contacts in cultural and literary milieux. Until late in...

(The entire section is 5348 words.)

Lesley Sharpe (essay date 2000)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Sharpe, Lesley. “The Enlightenment.” In A History of Women's Writing in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, edited by Jo Catling, pp. 47-49; 60-64. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

[In the following excerpt, Sharpe provides a brief introduction to late eighteenth-century German women's writing and offers a discussion of La Roche's life and works.]

The period covered in this chapter saw the decisive emergence of the female writer and of a female reading public. Literacy expanded considerably in the German states during the eighteenth century, including literacy among women, whose education had frequently been neglected, and the reading of...

(The entire section is 2911 words.)