The Mask and the Quill
Mary Helen Dupree
Actress-Writers in Germany from Enlightenment to Romanticism
In the last three decades of the eighteenth century, a small but significant number of German actresses, including Sophie Albrecht (1757-1840), Marianne Ehrmann (1755-1795), and Elise Bürger (1769-1833), began to publish poetry, autobiographies, drama, and short fiction under their own names. These "actress-writers" came of age at a time when the status of the actress was beginning to be radically redefined in accordance with Enlightenment aesthetics and the cult of sensibility as the model of the enterprising actress-director in the tradition of Caroline Neuber gave way to an idealized view of the actress as sentimental heroine. The Mask and the Quill: Actress-Writers in Germany from Enlightenment to Romanticism is an exploration of this generation of actress-writers, their significance for German literary and cultural history, and their attempts to come to terms with the new image of the actress through literature and performance.
About the author:
Mary Helen Dupree is Assistant Professor at Georgetown University.