Semmelstraße 25, 97070 Würzburg
Hauptfriedhof Würzburg, Martin-Luther-Straße 20, 97072 Würzburg
Elisabeth Dauthendey (January 19, 1854 - April 18, 1943) was a German writer. She was particularly successful with her fairy tales and short stories, which created a mythical to mystical fantasy world. Less well known were her novels and essay Of the New Woman and Her Love (1900), which dealt with the question of women and the problem of marriage. Her 1906 pamphlet The Uranian Question and Women is an attempt to construct a positive lesbian identity.
Elisabeth Dauthendey was the youngest of four daughters of the court photographer of Tsar Nicholas I, Carl Dauthendey, and his wife Annag. When Elizabeth was one year old, her mother took her own life. The father later married Caroline Charlotte Friedrich and her half-brother is Max Dauthendey (1867-1918), German poet and painter.
When Elisabeth was almost ten years old, the family returned to Germany and settled in Würzburg. After school, she took a teacher's examination and worked first with relatives of her mother in Königsberg, then in a distinguished London family as a private tutor. For health reasons, she returned home after some time. Dauthendey's father died in 1896, and Elisabeth was freed from the sometimes strict supervision. In 1898 her first novel Im Lebensdrange was published. In 1898, when Würzburg teachers founded the women's education association Frauenheil and applied to follow selected lectures at the University of Würzburg, which at the time did not accept women, Elisabeth Dauthendey was among the applicants. The following years are characterized by several stays abroad (mainly in Italy) and city trips (including to Paris, London, Berlin, Dresden, Munich). In Würzburg she lived in an apartment at Semmelstraße 25, 97070 Würzburg, and worked mostly as a private tutor. Between 1898 and 1934, she published more than twenty books.
From 1933 as a half-Jew Dauthendey was threatened with a professional ban and persecution by the Nazis. She tried to counter this danger with a literary abstinence in order not to attract attention. The last years of her life were therefore characterized by considerable financial hardship. She died at 90 years old. Her books, whose right she had left to a friend, a grammar school teacher, Michael Gerhard, were all burned down during the great fire in Würzburg, other than a manuscript of fairy tales which Gerhard published in 1976. Dauthendey is buried at Hauptfriedhof Würzburg (Martin-Luther-Straße 20, 97072 Würzburg).
Dauthendey, influenced by the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche , dealt among other things with psychological and ethical issues and went into the changed self-image of women in their time.
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