Louise Aston

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Louise Aston ( Johann Baptist Reiter )
Grave in the old cemetery in Wangen im Allgäu

Louise Franziska Aston , b. Hoche (born November 26, 1814 in Gröningen , † December 21, 1871 in Wangen im Allgäu ) was a German writer and champion of the democratic revolution and women's movement .


Louise Aston was the youngest daughter of the Protestant theologian and consistorial councilor Johann Gottfried Hoche and his wife Louise Charlotte, née Berning. An older sister was Eulalia Merx . At the age of 17, she was forced to marry 23-year-old Samuel Aston, an English manufacturer in Magdeburg. Before his marriage, Samuel Aston had four illegitimate children with three wives, all of whom he adopted. The marriage with Louise Aston resulted in three daughters. "She [Louise Aston] described the story of this connection in her novel" From the Life of a Woman "(1846)”.

Louise Aston led an extravagant life and repeatedly provoked scandals in Magdeburg and Göttingen, where she temporarily stayed. In 1839 the marriage was divorced at the instigation of Samuel Aston, but the couple reconciled and remarried in 1842; In 1844 they separated for good. Louise Aston returned to Prussia with her second daughter, Jenny Louise, and settled in Berlin, where she temporarily lived with Rudolf Gottschall , who dedicated his poems "Madonna" and "Magdalena", which propagated free love, to her.

Since she was aiming for a literary-intellectual career, she sought access to appropriate circles. She joined a group of young Hegelians (including Otto von Corvin and Max Stirner ). Anonymous complaints about her resulted in police monitoring her. In 1846 she was expelled from Berlin as a "dangerous person" for her non-conformism (she published erotic poems, wore men's clothes like George Sand and smoked on the street) and her open denial of any form of organized religiosity. In her book, My Emancipation, Referral and Justification , published a little later, she described her case and formulated radical demands for gender equality and the right of women to develop freely.

The art historian Lothar Schultes suspects, based on the resemblance to a steel engraving by Auguste Hüssener , that the painting "The Emancipated" by Johann Baptist Reiter , which is in the Linz Castle Museum , shows Louise Aston. It is likely to have originated in 1847 when Aston was living in Switzerland for a short time and maybe also in pre-revolutionary Vienna.

In the revolutionary year of 1848, she joined as a volunteer nurse the volunteer corps of Ludwig von der Tann , and participated in the Schleswig-Holstein campaign. During this campaign she met her second husband, the doctor Daniel Eduard Meier. With him she returned to Berlin, where she published her novel Lydia and, during the March Revolution, edited some issues in Der Freischärler magazine and founded the Club of Emancipated Women . Her husband was arrested as a radical democrat, she was finally deported from Berlin and moved to Bremen, where she wrote her novel Revolution und Conterrevolution . Her last publication appeared in 1849, the collection of poems by Freischärler-Reminiscenzen . The radical texts earned her strong criticism from among the ranks of the women's movement (including from Louise Otto ).

Louise Aston's husband was released from prison in 1855; The constantly monitored couple left Germany to work as a doctor and nurse in voluntary nursing on the Russian side during the Crimean War . They then lived in the Ukraine, Transylvania, Hungary and Austria until they returned to Germany in 1871. Soon after, Louise Aston died impoverished, politically resigned and isolated from her fellow writers at the age of 57.

She was buried in the old cemetery in Wangen im Allgäu; their grave plaque (on the north wall of the old Gottesackers ) is adorned with the slogan “After the fight, peace”. Her husband Daniel Eduard Meier, who died in 1873, is buried in the same grave. His grave tablet is also provided with a saying: “Compassionate death grants peace and quiet. / The mercilessly hounded Einfuß Meier-Aston. "

Work example

An example of Louise Aston's poetry style:

Motto of life (first stanza)
Pious souls, pious hearts,
Longing for heaven, full of life;
Around you is a valley of pain,
A dark place in the skull!
Likes in terrifying visions
Bang fate before me;
The pain should never destroy me
Never look contrite and repentant!
Free living, free loving,
I have always remained loyal!

Works (selection)

Memorial days

December 21, 2011 marked the 140th anniversary of the death of the German writer and uncompromising critic of society Louise Aston.

The 200th Anniversary Louise Aston on 26 November 2014 led City Theater Freiburg in June 2014 the play "Let the throne in flames glow" on Jenny Warnecke.



  • Karlheinz Fingerhut (Ed.): Louise Aston. A reader. Poems, novels and writings in a selection (1846–1849), Stuttgart 1983.
  • Karlheinz Fingerhut (Ed.): Louise Aston. From the life of a woman. Roman 1847, Stuttgart 1985.
  • Ludwig Julius Fränkel:  Meier, Luise . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 52, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1906, pp. 294-296.
  • Marion Freund: “Let the throne glow in flames!” Women writers and the revolution of 1848/49. Königstein im Taunus: Ulrike Helmer Verlag, 2004
  • Germaine Goetzinger: For the self-realization of women: Louise Aston. Frankfurt: Fischer Verlag, 1983.
  • Heinrich Groß: “German female poets and writers in words and pictures.” Fr. Thiel, Berlin 1885, “Portrait of the German writer Luise Aston”, p. 378. License: public domain
  • Guido Heinrich: Aston, Louise. In: Guido Heinrich, Gunter Schandera (ed.): Magdeburg Biographical Lexicon 19th and 20th centuries. Biographical lexicon for the state capital Magdeburg and the districts of Bördekreis, Jerichower Land, Ohrekreis and Schönebeck. Scriptum, Magdeburg 2002, ISBN 3-933046-49-1 .
  • Elisabeth Heimpel:  Aston, Luise. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 1, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1953, ISBN 3-428-00182-6 , p. 423 ( digitized version ).
  • Michaela Karl: The history of the women's movement, Philipp Reclam jun., Stuttgart, 2011, therein: Marching separately, beating together , Germany: Bourgeois and proletarian women's movement, 78-100, Louise Aston: p. 79.
  • Roland Schurig (Ed.) I want to keep up with the courageous. Authors-authors of the Vormärz. Pp. 24-30 (Aalen 1998).
  • Barbara Sichtermann: A Brief History of Women's Emancipation. Verlag Jacoby & Stuart, Berlin 2009, Louise Aston p. 53ff.
  • Barbara Sichtermann : I smoke cigars and don't believe in God , edition ebersbach: Berlin, Dortmund 2014, ISBN 978-3-86915-094-9
  • Barbara Sichtermann: "The vigilante." DIE ZEIT, No. 48, November 20, 2014
  • Jenny Warnecke: Women in the vortex of mighty deeds. Louise Aston's novel Revolution and Contrerevolution (1849) Sulzbach im Taunus: Ulrike Helmer Verlag, 2011.
  • Jenny Warnecke: "Louise Aston: Revolution and Contrerevolution." Edited by Jenny Warnecke. Edition classics. Sulzbach im Taunus: Ulrike Helmer Verlag, 2011.
  • Jenny Warnecke and Walter Wehner: Louise Franziska Aston (1814–1871) Radical writer of the Vormärz and champion of women's emancipation. Lexicon contribution. In: Walter Schmidt (et al. Ed.) Actors of a Upheaval. Men and women of the revolution of 1848/49. Vol. IV. Berlin: Fides. Pp. 61-117.
  • Jenny Warnecke: Louise Aston: Script of the Revolution. In: Kerstin Wiedemann / Elisa Müller-Adams (ed.): Ways out of marginalization. Gender and narrative style in German-language novels by women 1780–1914. (Original title: Échapper à la marginalization. Genre et récit dans le roman fèminin allemand 1780-1914. ) Nancy: PuN (Presses Universitaires de Nancy - Éditions Universitaires de Lorraine). Pp. 81-119.
  • Jenny Warnecke: The railroad: a powerful metaphor of the revolution of 1848 in Louise Aston's novel "Revolution and Contrerevolution". In: Christina Ujma: Paths to Modernity. Travel literature by writers from the Vormärz. Bielefeld, 2009. ISBN 978-3-89528-728-2
  • Björn Weyand: Ghosts and networks of intrigue. Alternative historical narration, time construction and revolutionary ghost discourse in Louise Aston's "Revolution and Contrerevolution" (1849) . In: Robert Seidel u. Bernd Zegowitz (Hrsg.): Literature around the Frankfurt Paulskirche 1848/49 . Aisthesis, Bielefeld 2013, pp. 191–210.
  • Barbara Wimmer: The pre-March writer Louise Aston. Self and time experience. (Frankfurt / M. 1993)
  • Horst-Peter Wolff: ASTON, Luise In: Horst-Peter Wolff (Hrsg.): Biographical lexicon for care history. “Who was who in nursing history.” Volume 2. Urban & Fischer in Elsevier / Hpsmedia, Hungen 2001, ISBN 978-3-437-26670-6 , p. 6.
  • Jenny Warnecke: Aston, Louise, b. High, m. Aston. In: Eva Labouvie (Hrsg.): Frauen in Sachsen-Anhalt, vol. 2. A biographical-bibliographical lexicon from the 19th century to 1945. Böhlau, Cologne et al. 2019, ISBN 978-3-412-51145-6 , p. 55-60

Individual evidence

  1. Gisela Brinker-Gabler : Louise Aston (1814–1871) . In: Deutsche Dichterinnen , Fischer TV ( The woman in society ) Frankfurt / Main 1986, ISBN 3-596-23701-7 , p. 197. (In it a short biography of L. Aston and four of her poems)
  2. ^ Lothar Schultes: Johann Baptist Reiter . 2nd Edition. Anton Pustet, Salzburg 2013, p. 92-95 .
  3. ^ Gisela Bock: Women in European History. CH Beck, 2005, ISBN 978-3-406-52795-1 , p. 155 ( limited preview in Google book search).
  4. Gisela Bock: Gender stories of the modern age. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2014, ISBN 978-3-525-37033-9 , p. 112 ( limited preview in the Google book search).
  5. Aston, Louise, Poems, Wilde Rosen, 8th motto of life. In: zeno.org. Retrieved January 20, 2015 .

Web links

Commons : Louise Aston  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Louise Aston  - Sources and full texts