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Sarah Austin

(1793—1867) translator and writer


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(Norwich, 1793–1867, Weybridge), née Taylor, spent the years 1827 to 1848 in Germany where she supported her jurist husband by her work as a translator. Her responsible approach earned her a reputation as Britain's leading mid-19th c. translator from German: her achievements include England in 1835 by Friedrich von Raumer, History of the Popes of Rome (1840) and History of the Reformation (1845) by Leopold von Ranke, and Niebuhr's Stories of the Gods and Heroes of Greece (1843). The high standard she set did much to ensure the accuracy and intellectual quality of the reception of contemporary German scholarship in Britain and the United States. In the literary field her most influential publications were Characteristics of Goethe from the German of Falk, von Müller and others (1833), which laid the basis for Goethe's posthumous image, and Germany from 1760 to 1814 (1854), her pioneering study of Germany during its ‘golden age’. Her romance by letter with Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau, which was not intended for publication, is marked by a candour and intensity unusual in women's writing of the period.

From The Oxford Companion to German Literature in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.


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