• Deborah Yaffe

The scandalous playwright of Mansfield

An informative and interesting recent post on the British Library’s European Studies blog talked about August von Kotzebue, a late eighteenth-century/early nineteenth-century German dramatist with a cameo role in the world of Jane Austen.


As readers of Mansfield Park – or, really, readers of scholarly footnotes to Mansfield Park – will recall, it is Elizabeth Inchbald’s translation of Kotzebue’s play, under the title Lovers’ Vows, that the daring young people of Mansfield decide to perform in Sir Thomas Bertram’s absence.


Although I’m not one of those Janeites who loves probing every detail of daily life in Austen’s day, I enjoyed this foray into Regency culture. And how can anyone resist a writer who titled one of his essays, “Why Do I Have So Many Enemies?”


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Copyright Deborah Yaffe, 2021