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Joseph und Mary Collyer: Die Verdienste und Verdammung der ‘englischen Gottscheds’

Ein Beitrag zum britisch-deutschen Kulturtransfer

Peter Damrau


Pages 39 - 59



The translation work of the now-forgotten married couple Joseph and Mary Collyer played a significant role for the establishment of German literature in England. In addition, their own works in the fields of geography and the novel were groundbreaking. The reception history of ‘Mary’s Felicia, oder Natur und Sitten’ demonstrates, for example, how this pioneer of the epistolary novel contributed to the development of the genre in Germany. With her translation of Der Tod Abels, she also helped Salomon Gessner to become one of the most successful foreign authors of her time. An inadequate Klopstock-translation by her husband led to resentment in German literary criticism, which remained, even though he translated shortly before his death the first novel by a German woman: La Roches ‘Geschichte des Fräuleins von Sternheim’. In a comparison with the Leipzig ‘Literaturpapst’ Johann Christoph Gottsched and his wife, Luise Gottsched, it will be shown for the first time, that the Collyers were the most important English literary couple in the history of German literature in the 18th century.

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