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Women of the Danish Golden Age

Literature, Theater and the Emancipation of Women

This broad, interdisciplinary work explores the often overlooked contributions of women to the cultural life of the Danish Golden Age. Featuring chapters on novelist Thomasine Gyllembourg, actress Johanne Luise Heiberg, and feminist writer Mathilde Fibiger, it spans three generations of women from the early to late Golden Age, examining the perceived proper role of women in Danish society at the time, including an examination of views by male Golden Age writers and thinkers such as Søren Kierkegaard and Hans Lassen Martensen. Offering a panorama of personalities, literary texts, theater performances, artworks, and sociopolitical debates, Women of the Danish Golden Age is a rich appreciation of the importance of women to Denmark’s cultural life during one of its most flourishing periods. 

196 pages | 19 halftones | 5 1/2 x 9 | © 2013

Danish Golden Age Studies

History: European History

Women's Studies

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Table of Contents


Introduction: Women of the Danish Golden Age
1. Thomasine Gyllembourg and the Danish Novel
    I. Thomasine Gyllembourg: An Overview of Her Life and Works
    II. Two Ages and the Portrayal of Everyday Life
    III. Kierkegaard on Thomasine Gyllembourg
2. The Heibergs and the Royal Theater
    I. Danish Society Between 1800 and 1850
    II. Johan Ludvig Heiberg’s Life
    III. The Heibergs’ Theory of Aesthetics and the Theater
    IV. The Influence of the Heibergs on Renowned Contemporaries and the Decline of the Heiberg School
    V. The Influence of the Heibergs and the Theater on Danish Culture
3. Johanne Luise Heiberg’s Acting and Kierkegaard
    I. Johanne Luise Heiberg’s Life and Works
    II. Johanne Luise Heiberg’s Scenic Art and Kierkegaard’s View of It
4. Mathilde Fibiger and the Emancipation of Women
    I. Mathilde Fibiger’s Life
    II. The Novel Clara Raphael
    III. The Clara Raphael Controversy
    IV. Heiberg and Mathilde Fibiger
    V. Heiberg’s Views on the Question of the Emancipation of Women as a Part of His General Political Views
5. Kierkegaard’s View of Mathilde Fibiger and the Emancipation of Women
    I. Kierkegaard on the Emancipation of Women
    II. Kierkegaard on Clara Raphael
    III. Critical Evaluation
6. Martensen’s View on the Emancipation of Women in Christian Ethics
    I. The Two Forms of Emancipation
    II. Martensen’s Essentialism
    III. The Results of the Essentialist View for the Social-Political Order
    IV. Martensen’s Appeal to Christianity
    V. A Final Qualification: Martensen’s View of Women in the Workforce
7. The Enduring Legacy of the Women of the Golden Age

Index of Persons
Index of Subjects

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