Fischer, Caroline Auguste (Karoline Auguste Fernandine Fischer) (Writer)

(1764-1842) novelist, short-story writer

Little is known about Caroline Auguste Fischer’s childhood and youth. Her father, Karl Heinrich Ernst Venturini, was a court violinist at the Duchy of Brunswick. Her mother, Charlotte Juliane Wil-helmine Kochy Venturini, was the daughter of a local tailor. Fischer married Christoph Johann Rudolph Christiani in the early 1790s and moved to Copenhagen. The couple separated in 1798, and Fischer moved back to Germany the following year. In 1803, she had a child with the writer Christian August Fischer (1771-1829). The couple married in 1808 but separated after only seven months.

Fischer used Christian’s literary contacts to publish her first novel, Gustavs Verirrungen (Gus-tav’s Aberrations, 1801). She quickly followed up with two more novels, Vierzehn Tage in Paris (A Fortnight in Paris, 1801) and Die Honigmonathe (The Honeymoons, 1802). These works sold well and made her a popular author. After Fischer’s second marriage ended, she tried to support herself by running a girls’ school in Heidelberg and a library in Wurzburg, but these ventures failed. Fischer had only limited success with her later novels and short stories before she quit writing in 1820.

She spent her last years in and out of mental institutions and died penniless in 1842.

Fischer often wrote about the incompatibility between pursuing happiness and pursuing virtue. Her stories often portray women forced to choose between creativity and a stifling home life. Fischer’s powerful works expose the destructiveness that stereotypes and gender roles had on women in the 1800s. Largely forgotten until the late 20th century, Fischer is now viewed as a significant precursor to modern women’s literature in Germany.

Works about Caroline Auguste Fischer

Purver, Judith. “Passion, Possession, Patriarchy: Images of Men in the Novels and Short Stories of Caroline Auguste Fischer.” Neophilologus 79 (1995).

.”Caroline Auguste Fischer: An Introduction.” In Margaret C. Ives, ed., Women Writers of the Age of Goethe IV. Lancaster, U.K.: Lancaster University Press, 1991.

Next post:

Previous post: