Grieshuus: The Chronicle of a Family
Translated from the German by Denis Jackson; afterword by David Artiss
Angel Classics celebrates the bicentenary of the birth of one of the most deeply affecting of German writers with a new translation of a long overlooked late masterpiece. Grieshuus: The Chronicle of a Family is the sixth and final title in Denis Jackson’s definitive series of translations of Storm’s finest novellas.
Grieshuus is the story of the decline and extinction of a noble line, which arises from the enmity between two brothers. Events take place in a remote, wolf-ridden corner of the northern German duchy of Schleswig, in the midst of an international power struggle – the devastating Northern Wars of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, fought between the rulers of the expanding Swedish empire and coalitions of other European powers, from Denmark and the Low Countries to the Russia of Peter the Great.
The structural subtlety of this spacious novella, involving two separate chronicles inside an overarching narrative framework spanning several generations, foreshadows that of Storm’s celebrated masterpiece The Dykemaster (Der Schimmelreiter)
THEODOR STORM (1817–88) was born in the small North Sea coastal town of Husum, where he established himself as a lawyer and spent almost his entire life apart from fifteen years of political exile. His fifty or so novellas grew out of his lyric verse, which includes some of the finest in the language. His intricately wrought, subtle narratives, strongly rooted in time and place, have long made him a favourite author of his fellow countrymen, and the English-speaking world has begun to accord him a place beside better known writers of other nations whose work has long been accepted as classic.