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Ebner-Eschenbach, Marie (1830–1916)

Austrian novelist and poet. Name variations: Countess Dubsky; Baroness von Ebner-Eschenbach. Born Countess Dubsky at Castle Zdislavic, in Moravia, on September 13, 1830; died in 1916; daughter of Count Dubsky; married Moritz von Ebner-Eschenbach (Austrian field marshal), in 1848; no children.

Marie Ebner-Eschenbach grew up in Vienna and on the family estate of Zdislavic in Moravia. She was an infant when her mother died, and her meticulous education was provided by her two stepmothers. In 1848, she married her cousin, the Austrian captain Moritz von Ebner-Eschenbach, who would subsequently attain the rank of field marshal. He was assigned to military posts, and the couple lived in Vienna, then Kolsterbruck, then Vienna once again. Baroness von Ebner-Eschenbach began her writings as a playwright, despite family disapproval, hoping for a career at the Vienna Burghtheater. Her drama Maria von Schottland (Mary Stuart in Scotland) was produced at the Karlsruhe theater in 1860, but her next few plays, including Marie Roland (Madame Roland ), proved less successful.

Ebner-Eschenbach then turned to fiction. A distinguished author, she wrote a number of novels depicting the life in Bohemia: Die Prinzessin von Banalien (1872), Bozena (1876), and Das Gemeindekind (Child of the Community, 1887). She also wrote of the Austrian aristocracy in Lotti, die Uhrmacherin (1883), Zwei Comtessen (Two Countesses, 1885), Unsühnbar (1890), and Glaubenslos? (1893). In 1875, she published the story of a dog Krambambuli, one of her best-known books, and in 1880 produced a book of Parables, Fairy Tales and Poems.

Ebner-Eschenbach became a grande dame of Viennese society. Her humor, power of description, elegance of style, and masterly insight into character gave her a foremost place among German writers of her time. On the occasion of her 70th birthday, the University of Vienna conferred upon her the degree of doctor of philosophy. Her friends included Betty Paoli and Enrica von Handel-Mazzetti .

Ebner-Eschenbach, Marie (1830–1916)

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