Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

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Karl von Blaas : Freifrau Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, oil on canvas, 1873

Marie Freifrau Ebner von Eschenbach (born September 13, 1830 at Zdislawitz Castle near Kremsier in Moravia as Marie Dubský von Třebomyslice ; † March 12, 1916 in Vienna ) was a Moravian - Austrian writer . With her psychological stories she is one of the most important German-speaking storytellers of the 19th century .


Childhood and youth

Portrait of Marie von Dubský, later by Ebner-Eschenbach, around 1845, author unknown

Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, née Freiin Dubský, countess from 1843, was the daughter of Franz Baron Dubský, from 1843 Count Dubský, and his second wife Baroness Marie von Vockel. On her father's side, it has its roots in the old Bohemian-Catholic noble family of the Dubský of Třebomyslice . On her mother's side, she descends from the Saxon-Protestant family Vockel. She had six siblings, including the Austro-Hungarian general and diplomat Viktor Dubský von Třebomyslice .

Shortly after she was born, her mother died. She lost her first stepmother, Eugénie von Bartenstein, when she was seven years old. Three years later, Marie's father was their fourth marriage to Countess Xaverine Kolowrat-Krakowsky , an educated woman. This recognized and promoted the literary talent of her stepdaughter. While the family lived in Vienna for several months each year, Xaverine often took her stepdaughter to the Burgtheater and gave her literary suggestions.

At the age of eleven, Marie was given the task of classifying her late grandmother's books in the library in Zdislawitz. The author Moritz Necker describes it as follows: She read according to her choice, without guidance or interference, and her free spirit and independence from all metaphysics developed.

Marie spent the summer months with her family at the castle in Zdislawitz, and in winter she lived in Vienna. Many different people took care of Mary's upbringing: her grandmother on her mother's side, her aunt Helen on her father's side, Czech servants and German and French governesses . As a result, she was lucky enough to be able to learn different languages: German , French and Czech , with French becoming her mother tongue .

According to Necker, Ebner-Eschenbach, as a noble woman, benefited from the fact that she lived above the bourgeoisie, was able to oversee them and was given a broad view of state conditions early on. With the description of the aristocracy she was familiar with, she opened up a new poetic field as a poet, in which she also found many imitators.


Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach with her husband, around 1865
150th birthday of Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach: special postage stamp of the Deutsche Bundespost from 1980

In 1848, at the age of eighteen, Marie married her cousin Moritz von Ebner-Eschenbach , the son of her aunt Helen. She moved to Klosterbruck (Czech: Louka ) near Znojmo in South Moravia to live with her husband, who was fifteen years her senior . Her husband was an educated man himself and supported Marie in her urge to write. Moritz von Ebner-Eschenbach taught physics and chemistry as a professor at the Engineering Academy in Vienna, later the academy was moved to the Znojmo location and renamed the Genie Academy. He retired as a Lieutenant Field Marshal . The marriage of the two remained childless.

Playwright and writer

In 1856 she moved permanently to Vienna, where she trained as a watchmaker in 1879 , which was unusual for a woman at the time. She collected form clocks ; the collection is in the watch museum in Vienna. In the course of time she turned entirely to literature. During almost twenty years she wrote dramas (Society plays and comedies ), inspired by Friedrich von Schiller , but they were not successful. After she had worked as a playwright with little success , she was able to attract attention in 1876 with her first short novel Božena, which was printed in the Deutsche Rundschau . She now tried her hand at writing, which turned out to be a good decision due to the success. With works such as the Aphorisms (1880) and the village and castle stories , she finally made her breakthrough. The latter contain their most famous novella, Krambambuli . She now focused on her narrative poetry, in which one finds important elements of her social thinking and political awareness.

Literary success

After she published her story Lotti the Watchmaker in 1880 , she was also welcomed by publishers. In 1887 her novel Das Gemeindekind was published . In the opinion of Moritz Necker, she had fought against established ideas of her time all her life. She did not write to finance family support, but rather with the inspiration and conviction that her writings could change the thoughts of her time. Their intention was to convey morality and humanism . Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach belonged to the Austrian "Association for the Defense of Anti-Semitism " founded by Arthur Gundaccar von Suttner in 1891 . Nonetheless, she did not avoid using typical anti-Semitic clichés and stereotypes such as physiognomy , 'dirty' business, and materialistic thinking when describing Jewish characters in her works. However, the interpretation of the character descriptions in question is controversial.

From 1890 Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach found her dramatic writing style with her dialogical novellas. With her works Without Love (1888) and At the End (1895) she achieved success on the Free Stage in Berlin . In 1898 she was awarded the highest civil order in Austria , the Cross of Honor for Art and Literature . In 1900 she received the first female honorary doctorate from the University of Vienna . Her husband died in 1898. In the same year, the Drei-Raben-Haus in Vienna (between Rabensteig 1 and Rotenturmstraße 21) was demolished in the course of road regulation, and Ebner-Eschenbach moved to Zdislawitz. After 1899 she made several trips to Italy and in 1906 published her memoirs Meine Kinderjahre .

End of life

The family grave in Zdislavice

Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach died on March 12, 1916 at the age of 85 in her apartment in Vienna, Spiegelgasse 1, and was buried in the family crypt of Count Dubský in Zdislawitz . Zdislawitz Castle was left to decay for a long time, the mausoleum was neglected and there was no memory of the poet. The crypt and the adjoining park have been renovated by the Czech National Trust since 2015 and the grave and chapel were made accessible in June 2016 (on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of her death). The work to renovate the facility and erect a monument should be completed by 2020.


In her honor, a memorial plaque was installed at the Vienna University in Vienna and the Ebner-Eschenbach-Park in Vienna- Währing was named. Part of the estate is now in Lysice Castle , where a permanent exhibition is dedicated to her. The Austrian Post published a special postage stamp on the 50th (1966) and 75th (1991) anniversary of her death, the German Post on the occasion of her 150th birthday (1980). The portrait of Ebner-Eschenbach was also intended to show the obverse of the 5000 Schilling banknote from the 1997 series , of which only the 500 and 1000 Schilling notes were issued.


Along with Anette von Droste-Hülshoff, Ebner-Eschenbach is one of the most important German-speaking women writers of the 19th century. However, a more critical view of her work has established itself, which is interpreted as conservative and harmonizing. Daniela Strigl sums up the author's assessment as follows: "What was the object of worship a good hundred years ago has become an obstacle to reception."


  • Hirzepinzchen. A fairy tale. Illustrated by Robert Weise . Union Deutsche Verlagsgesellschaft, Stuttgart / Berlin / Leipzig o. J.
  • From Franzensbad. 6 epistles from no prophet. Lorck, Leipzig 1858. online
  • Mary Queen of Scots in Scotland. Acting in five acts. Ludwig Mayer, Vienna 1860. online
  • The violet. Comedy in one act. Wallishausser, Vienna 1861.
  • Marie Roland. Tragedy in 5 acts. Wallishausser, Vienna 1867. online
  • Doctor Ritter. Dramatic poem in one act. Jasper, Vienna 1869.
  • The Princess of Banalia. A fairy tale. Rosner, Vienna 1872. online
  • The forest maiden. 1873.
  • Božena. Narrative. Cotta, Stuttgart 1876. online
  • The barons of Gemperlein. 1878. online
  • Lotti, the watchmaker. In: Deutsche Rundschau . 1880. online
  • He lets the hand be kissed . 1877
  • Aphorisms. Franz Ebhardt, Berlin 1880. online
  • Village and castle stories. 1883 (stories; therein Der Kreisphysikus, Jacob Szela, Krambambuli , Die Resel , The Poetry of the Unconscious ). on-line
  • Two countesses. Franz Ebhardt, Berlin 1885 (story).
  • New village and castle stories. Paetel, Berlin 1886 (stories; therein The misunderstood in the village, He lets kiss the hand, The good moon ).
  • The parishioner . 1887 (novel). on-line
  • Unspeakable . Paetel, Berlin 1890 ( online at Project Gutenberg - story, 164 pages).
  • Atonement in the Gutenberg-DE project
  • Three novels. 1892 (including Oversberg ).
  • Unbelievable? Narrative. Paetel, Berlin 1893. New edition. on-line
  • The harmful. The wake of the dead. Two stories. Paetel, Berlin 1894. online
  • Captain Brand. Bertram Vogelweid. Two stories. Paetel, Berlin 1896. online
  • Old school. Paetel, Berlin 1897 (short stories; therein Ein Verbot, Der Fink, Eine Vision, Schattenleben, Verschollen ).
  • At the end. Scene in 1 elevator. Bloch, Berlin 1897.
  • From late autumn days. Stories. Paetel, Berlin 1901. (in it the preferred student, Maslan's wife, Miss Susann's Christmas Eve, to be burned unopened, the traveling companions, the Spitzin, in the last hour, an original, the visit ) online
  • Agave. Paetel, Berlin 1903 (novel). on-line
  • The invincible power. Two stories. Paetel, Berlin 1905. online
  • My childhood years. Biographical sketches. Paetel, Berlin 1906. online
  • Indian summer. Paetel, Berlin 1909. online

Current issues (selection)

Audio book

Film adaptations


  • Mechtild Alkemade: The life and worldview of Baroness Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach. Wächter, Graz-Würzburg 1935 (= German sources and studies; 15).
  • Wilhelm Bietak:  Ebner von Eschenbach, Marie Freifrau von. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 4, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1959, ISBN 3-428-00185-0 , pp. 265-267 ( digitized version ).
  • Agatha C. Bramkamp: Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach. The author, her time, and her critics. Bouvier, Bonn 1990, ISBN 3-416-02241-6 (= treatises on art, music and literature; 387).
  • Gudrun Gorla: Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach. 100 years later. An analysis from the perspective of the end of the 20th century with consideration of the mother figure, the ideology of matriarchy and formal aspects. Peter Lang, Bern a. a. 1999, ISBN 3-906762-22-X .
  • Marianne Henn: Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach. Wehrhahn, Hannover 2010. (= Meteore Vol. 3rd ed. By Alexander Košenina , Nikola Roßbach and Franziska Schößler).
  • Eleonora Jeřábková - Martin Reissner - Stanislav Sahánek: The Moravian writer Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach and Zdislavice. Moravian State Museum, Brno 2015, ISBN 978-80-7028-442-1
  • Minna Kautsky : The parish child . In: The New Time . Review of intellectual and public life . 6th year (1888), issue 9, pp. 403-416 FES (review)
  • Doris M. Klostermaier: Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach. The victory of a tenacious will. Ariadne Press, Riverside CA 1997, ISBN 1-57241-038-8 (= Studies in Austrian literature, culture, and thought).
  • Ruth Klüger : Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach. Advocate of the Oppressed . Mandelbaum, Vienna 2016, ISBN 978-3-85476-521-9 .
  • Enno Lohnmeyer: Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach as a social reformer. Helmer, Königstein 2002, ISBN 3-89741-104-0 .
  • Monika Manczyk-Krygiel: The bondage is to blame for the bondage. The fate of women with Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, Bertha von Suttner and Marie Eugenie delle Grazie. Heinz, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-88099-410-2 (= Stuttgart works on German studies; 405).
  • Nicole Meckel: Literary Childhood. Childhood depiction in Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach's work. Frankfurt am Main 2004 (Univ. Diss.).
  • Josef Mühlberger : Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach. In: Hermann Heimpel, Theodor Heuss, Benno Reifenberg (Hrsg.): The great Germans. German biography. Five volumes, Prisma Verlag, Gütersloh, 1978, 3700 pages [Reprint of the revised edition from 1966 of the 1956 reissued work of the same name by Willy Andreas u. Wilhelm von Scholz from the years 1935–1937].
  • Peter C. Pfeiffer: Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach. Tragedy, story, homeland film. Francke, Tübingen 2008, ISBN 978-3-7720-8268-9 .
  • Claus Pias : Viewed literature. Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach and the fine arts (on the occasion of the Bonn Ebner-Eschenbach Symposium on the 75th anniversary of death in 1991). Publishing house and database for the humanities, Weimar 1995, ISBN 3-929742-73-X .
  • Karl Konrad Polheim: Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach. A symposium in Bonn on the 75th year of her death. Peter Lang, Bern a. a. 1994, ISBN 3-906753-02-6 .
  • Ferrel V. Rose: The Guises of Modesty. Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach's female artists. Camden House, Columbia SC 1994, ISBN 1-879751-69-0 (= Studies in German literature, linguistics, and culture).
  • Sybil Countess Schönfeldt : Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach. Poet with a sharp eye of the heart. Quell, Stuttgart 1997, ISBN 3-7918-1719-1 .
  • Claudia Seeling: On the interdependence of gender and national discourse in Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach. Röhrig Universitätsverlag, St. Ingbert 2008, ISBN 978-3-86110-449-0 (= Mannheim Studies in Literary and Cultural Studies, Volume 44) (also dissertation, University of Mannheim 2007).
  • Carl Steiner: Of reason and love. The life and works of Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach (1830-1916). Ariadne Press, Riverside 1994, ISBN 0-929497-77-5 (= Studies in Austrian literature, culture, and thought).
  • Joseph P. Strelka (Ed.): Des pity deep ability to love. On the work of Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach. Peter Lang, Bern a. a. 1997, ISBN 3-906759-32-6 (= New York contributions to Austrian literary history; 7).
  • Daniela Strigl : Being famous is nothing. Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach. A biography . Residence, Vienna 2016, ISBN 978-3-7017-3340-8 .
  • Izabela Surynt: Narrated femininity in Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach (= Studia i monografie (Uniwersytet Opolski), Volume 257). Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Opolskiego, Opole 1998, ISBN 83-87635-11-1 (Dissertation University of Opole (Uniwersytet Opolski) 1995, 222 pages).
  • Ulrike Tanzer : Images of women in Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach's work. Heinz, Stuttgart 1997, ISBN 3-88099-349-1 (= Stuttgart works on German studies; 344).
  • Edith Toegel: Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach. Life and work. Peter Lang, New York a. a. 1997, ISBN 0-8204-3080-3 (= Austrian culture; 25)
  • Marianne Wintersteiner: "A little song, how does it start ...". The life of Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach. A narrative biography. Salzer, Heilbronn 1989, ISBN 3-7936-0278-8 .
  • Constantin von Wurzbach : Ebner Baroness von Eschenbach, Marie . In: Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich . 24th part. Imperial-Royal Court and State Printing Office, Vienna 1872, p. 398 ( digitized version ).
  • Anikó Zsigmond: Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach. The female consciousness of an Austrian aristocrat. Chair for German Language and literature of education. Hochsch. “Dániel Berzsenyi”, Szombathely 2001, ISBN 963-9290-45-9 . (= Acta germanistica Savariensia; 5)

Web links

Commons : Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach  - Collection of images
Wikisource: Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Moritz Necker: A literary character picture (pp. 338–357) ( ) in: Deutsche Rundschau Volume 64, July – September 1890; on p. 341.
  2. ^ Gerhard Roth: Journey into the fourth dimension . In: The press . February 27, 2009
  3. ^ Moritz Necker: A literary character picture (pp. 338–357) ( ) in: Deutsche Rundschau Volume 64, July – September 1890; on p. 347.
  4. Karl-Markus Gauss : Fighting is better than begging. Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach was the most famous German-speaking author of the 19th century . In: Süddeutsche Zeitung, July 4, 2016, p. 12.
  5. ^ Ingeborg Fialová: Marie Ebner-Eschenbach and Judaism. March 3, 2017, accessed January 25, 2019 .
  6. To the three ravens in the Vienna History Wiki of the City of Vienna .
  7. ^ Alfred German-GermanMarie v (on) Ebner-Eschenbach. In:  Oesterreichische Volks-Zeitung , No. 72/1916 (LXII. Year), March 13, 1916, p. 2, bottom. (Online at ANNO ). Template: ANNO / Maintenance / ovz.
  8. In Zdislavice. Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach is forgotten in her homeland . FAZ , July 19, 2013, p. 35
  9. The year of Marie Ebner-Eschenbach ( Memento of the original from May 11, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . Czech National Trust.
  10. ↑ Not old-fashioned . Prague Newspaper , July 13, 2016
  11. ( Memento from January 12, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  12. Beyond Krambambuli. In: full text. Retrieved August 17, 2020 .