The University of Wisconsin Press

German Studies / American Studies / Anthropology / Ethnic Studies


The Life and Works of Charles Sealsfield (Karl Postl) 1793–1864
Edited by Charlotte L. Brancaforte

This book, with contributions in both German and English, investigates the life story, and the manifold interests and achievements, of one of the most enigmatic writers of the nineteenth century. Karl Postl was the son of an Austrian bourgeois family, a Catholic cleric who was caught up in the resistance to the post-Napoleonic restoration. In 1823 he exiled himself from his name and his homeland. A restless traveler through the Americas, a much-read literary critic, a social visionary, and a sometime diplomatic courier for the exiled Bonparte family, Karl Postl became “Charles Sealsfield, Citizen of the United States, Clergyman, Native of Pennsylvania.” His literary reputation never really faded even though tastes have changed many times. His search for common human traits in the political and social systems of Europe and the Americas has been relevant through the last 150 years. Quite apart from the literary merits of his works, his dispassionate observations on non-European races and their customs and aspirations have aroused the interest of scholars in the academic disciplines of anthropology and ethnic history.

Distributed by the University of Wisconsin Press for The Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

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Blue cover featuring title and author in gold text

January 1993

302 pp.

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Cloth $24.95 s
ISBN 978-0-924119-72-9
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