Ladies Conversations Lexicon

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Title page of the first volume

The Ladies Conversations Lexicon is a 10-volume conversation lexicon from the 19th century, which at the time of publication was primarily aimed at women from the middle classes who were interested in education .


At the beginning of the 1830s, the German book market offered around 50 encyclopedic works that dealt with a wide range of specialist areas and were aimed at different target groups. So there was the Great Conversations lexicon of Joseph Meyer , which turned to the educated classes and has been selling in individual deliveries. The writer Carl Herloßsohn , who came from a poor background, relied on a similar concept by starting the publication of the women's conversations dictionary in 1834. In doing so, he focused on the interests of women from the middle classes who were hungry for education. Four booklets each formed a volume. In 1838 the tenth volume was completed. Among the employees were Karoline von Woltmann , who wrote an article on "marriage", for example. Contributions from the field of music in the first two volumes should come from Robert Schumann . The side pages of the title pages of the individual volumes were provided with steel engravings by famous women by Moritz Retzsch .

In the preface to the first volume it says:

“To keep a close eye on the female interest, to examine what is useful, beautiful, and worth knowing in the minds of women and to make them vivid, to let it walk in a lighter, more tasteful garb than with other lexicographical works, to choose a form which Judges of taste suffice without giving something to the first and worthy position that the work is intended to occupy, this was the task that we intended to solve. "

- The editorial team : preface. First volume, Leipzig, August 1834 (excerpt)

A digitized version was published (in Neusatz and facsimile ) in the Digital Library series and was made available free of charge on the portal . The full text of the printed edition is reproduced unchanged with a verbatim page concordance . In 1856 the work Latest Ladies Conversations Lexicon appeared: an epitome of total knowledge for women, which was also printed in Leipzig and aimed at the same target group.


Court actress
Sophie Müller
(Moritz Retzsch) Volume 7

Published in association with scholars and writers

See also

Web links

  • Angelika Schaser: Review of: C. Herloßsohn (ed.): Damen Conversations Lexikon.

Individual evidence

  1. Angelika Schaser : Review of: Carl Herloßsohn (Ed.): Ladies Conversations Lexicon. Neusatz and facsimile of the 10-volume edition Leipzig 1834 to 1838, Berlin 2005. H-Soz-Kult, April 25, 2006, accessed on July 21, 2019 .
  2. Preface. In: Carl Herloßsohn (Ed.): Ladies Conversations Lexicon. Volume 1. Leipzig 1834, p. III3 ( )
  3. Ladies Conversations Lexicon. New movement and facsimile. In: Digitized., accessed July 21, 2019 .