Elisabeth Eleonore Bernhardi

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Elisabeth Eleonore Bernhardi (born August 8, 1768 in Freiberg ; † March 4, 1849 there ) was a German writer and educator who advocated women's education in her writings . She also wrote under the pseudonym Philogyn .


Bernhardi was born in Freiberg as the youngest of seven children of the lawyer and mayor Gottfried Bethmann Bernhardi († 1798). In 1800 she founded a private girls' school in Freiberg. Her numerous writings "are dedicated to the subject of education", but appeared either anonymously or under the pseudonym Philogyn . Since 1814 she published the weekly paper for the compassionate youth “for the good of the orphans of the Erzgebirge. Circle ”, of which seven volumes had appeared up to 1818. She donated the proceeds from the sale to the Erzgebirge town of Johanngeorgenstadt and to needy school facilities. Her work Journey of an Aunt in Many Countries was also published in 1817 “for the best of the poor in Saxony”.

Like Esther Gad and Amalia Holst , Bernhardi was also one of the women of her time who turned against Joachim Heinrich Campe and his text Father's advice for my daughter from 1789. Campe regarded an education for women as useful only to the extent that it served her in the exercise of her duties as housewife and mother. Bernhardi criticized Campe in her book Ein Wort zu seine Zeit , who would therefore not give childless, unmarried women any education. Above all, in contrast to Campe, she saw writing as a way of making money for women. However, a woman should only work as an author if she “has enough understanding and knowledge to write useful books”.


  • Karl Gottlob Sonntag (Ed.): A word in its time. For intelligent mothers and grown daughters. In a mother's letters (anonymously published) Craz, Freyberg 1798. ( digitized version )
  • Philogyn: Julie and Friederike. Craz, Freyberg 1799.
  • From D. Author d. Julie et al. Friederike: Unusual People in Ordinary Events (1801)
  • Elementary lessons. Textbook and reading book for children. 2 volumes. Feind, Leipzig 1806, ( digitized volume 1 ), ( digitized volume 2 ).
  • From a teacher: instruction for mothers who want to teach their children themselves. For elementary lessons for girls. Enemy, Leipzig 1806.
  • Weekly paper for the compassionate youth. (7 volumes, 1814-1818). ZDB ID 2026413-6 .
  • V. d. Ed. d. Weekly newspaper etc: an aunt's trip to many countries. Without place and publisher 1817. ( digitized version )
  • Gottfried Wacker. A book for young professionals and citizens. Craz, Freyberg 1799. ( digitized version )


  • Carl Wilhelm Otto August von Schindel: The German women writers of the nineteenth century . FIRST PART: A-L . Brockhaus, Leipzig 1823, pp. 44–46.
  • Elisabeth Eleonore Bernhardi . In: Ladies Conversations Lexicon . Volume 2. Fr. Volckmar, Leipzig 1834, pp. 23-24.
  • Elisabeth Friedrichs: The German-speaking women writers of the 18th and 19th centuries. A lexicon . Metzler, Stuttgart 1981, ISBN 3-476-00456-2 , ( Repertories on the History of German Literature 9), p. 23.
  • Sigrun Schmid: Escape from the “self-inflicted immaturity”. Perspectives on bourgeois women's literature. Shown using examples from the novel Sophie von La Roches, Therese Hubers, Friederike Helene Ungers, Caroline Auguste Fischers, Johanna Schopenhauers and Sophie Bernhardis . Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 1999, ISBN 3-8260-1566-5 , ( Epistemata - Series Literaturwissenschaft 257), (At the same time: Hamburg, Univ., Diss., 1997), p. 213 f.

Individual evidence

  1. Schindel, p. 45.
  2. That was the subtitle.
  3. That was the addition to the book title.
  4. ^ KG Sonntag (Ed.): A word in its time. For intelligent mothers and grown daughters. In letters from a mother . Freiberg 1798, p. 157.
  5. No copy can be found.
  6. No copy can be found.