Brandes (Cohen), Carl Edvard

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BRANDES (Cohen), CARL EDVARD (1847–1931), Danish author, playwright, and politician; younger brother of Georg *Brandes, Brandes specialized in Oriental languages at the University of Copenhagen and received his doctorate in 1879. He published translations from Sanskrit and also Danish versions of Isaiah (1902), Psalms (1905), Job, and Ecclesiastes (1907). However, he openly professed atheism and had no connection with Jewish affairs. Brandes entered politics as a member of the Radical Party. After the split in the party in 1884, he founded a new opposition paper Politiken which attained great political and cultural influence. From 1889 until 1894 and from 1906 until 1927 he sat in the Chamber of Deputies. Brandes served as finance minister during 1909–10 and from 1913 to 1920. His diplomatic skill as a negotiator gained him considerable renown, and he acquired further distinction as the administrator of neutral Denmark's finances during World War i. Brandes was also deeply interested in the theater and even tried to become an actor. He wrote on modern Danish and foreign drama, and in his plays fought against conventional morality and hypocrisy in human society.


Dansk Biografisk Leksikon, 3 (1934), 614–28; Dansk Skønlitter'rt Forfatterleksikon 1900–1950, 1 (1959), 153–5.

[Frederik Julius Billeskov-Jansen]