Eleonore Sophie Sampson
1. The revolt of the dolls: a novel and 2. The revolt of the dolls and other small rebellions: a critical introduction to the fairy-tales of Sophie von Baudissin
Sampson, Eleonore Sophie
The German nineteenth-century fairy-tale has long been, and remains, largely synonymous with the tales of the Brothers Grimm, particularly in the wider public consciousness. While there is some awareness among the general public of other, contemporaneous, male-authored collections, there is almost no awareness at all of the hundreds of nineteenth-century fairy-tale publications produced by female authors and collectors, some of whom were well-known and popular during their lifetime. Scholarship, too, has long been focused on the Grimm tales, while studies of other German fairy-tale authors and collectors, both male and female, remain comparatively sparse. This longstanding research focus, and resulting output, on the Grimm tales has created a skewed representation of the German nineteenthcentury fairy-tale. Hence, if we want to construct a more accurate and complete picture of the German nineteenth-century fairy-tale, we must also consider the tales collected, edited and authored by women. There is now a growing body of research, supplemented by a few publications for a broader audience, intended to close that gap in our knowledge. The present work aims to make its own contribution to filling that gap – both in the academic community and in the wider public awareness – by bringing back to light the life and fairy-tales of one female German author: Sophie von Baudissin (1817-1894), alias Aurelie. The novel component re-imagines Baudissin’s private and writing life by drawing on surviving biographical documents but also on her fairy-tales. The dissertation component provides a critical introduction to Baudissin’s fairy-tales and supplies original English translations of the tales. It is argued – in the dissertation and, between the lines, also in the novel – that while Baudissin’s fairy-tales may appear to be innocuous children’s literature at first glance, they are shot through with subtle but distinct subversive undercurrents that challenge her society’s prevalent narratives regarding, for instance, anthropocentrism, gender and class.
|Embargo on access until 1 March 2026 - The thesis is due for publication, or the author is actively seeking to publish this material.