Thursday 20 July 2017

German Brontë falsifications part 2 - 
Inside German library catalogues

In some of the important German national and university libraries you can still
 find incorrect Brontë entries up to the present day. In the middle of the
19th century, novels of the Brontë sisters were extremely successful. It was therefore
 a great temptation for foreign editors (not only German) to find other
 anonymous English novels to translate and print them as a new ”Brontë” book. 

I found new interesting information about some Brontë titles in the 
old, so-called ”Quartkatalog” belonging to the Bavarian State Library (BSB). They 
are linked with the book titles on the respective online pages. It is absolutely 
fascinating seeing the old original handwritten book records and knowing that in
 those days the authors were researched and compiled with great care.

  Quartkatalog’s are handwritten catalogue cards in the format of 22 x 18 cm from
 the year of their acquisition, in 1841, to the year of publication in 1952. Books are 
here listed alphabetically based on the authors' name. Since the beginning of 
2004 they have been scanned as images to ease net research.


(all shown catalogue cards: Quartkatalog. Bayerische Landesbibliothek. BSB digital)

* note; Das englische Original ist nicht nachweisbar (the English original is not verifiable)

Die Geschwister (= Brother and Sister) / Acton Currer Bell 
[Pseud. für Charlotte Brontë]. 

Aus dem Englischen von L. Th. Fort
 Grimma und Leipzig: Verlags-Comptoir, 1851

First German lines:

„Es war ein kalter Märzabend; die Lampen in Sackville Street 
waren angezündet und warfen ihr bleiches, flackerndes Licht
 durch die Regentropfen.

These are the same first lines that in the original title are named “Ernest Vane”.

The author of the English original is well known since years and just now in 2016 this title got a new German edition:

The English original:

Ernest Vane / Alexander Baillie Cochrane
London: H. Colburn, 1849.

Alexander Dundas Ross Cochrane-Wishart-Baillie, 1st Baron Lamington (24 November 1816 – 15 February 1890), better known as Alexander Baillie-Cochrane, was a British Conservative politician. He attended Cambridge University before entering parliament as a member for Bridport in 1841. He later sat for Lanarkshire, Honiton, and finally the Isle of Wight until 1880 when he was made a peer and went to the House of Lords as Baron Lamington, of Lamington in the County of Lanark.

First English lines:

„It was a cold March evening, the lamps in Sackville Street were lit, 
and cast a flickering pale uncertain light through the drops of rain...“

New German edition in 2016, ²2017

Ernest Vane: eine schicksalhafte Liebe im viktorianischen England 
/ Alexander Baillie Cochrane

Modernisierte und erweiterte Neufassung, Übersetzung: Ludwig Theodor Fort, Marcus Galle. 

Format Kindle Edition. E-Book 2017

First German lines.

„Es war ein kalter Märzabend; die Lampen in Sackville Street
waren angezündet und warfen ihr bleiches, flackerndes Licht
durch die Regentropfen..“

Dutch edition of the same text:

Broeder en zuster, of De zucht naar wereldsche grootheid / Acton Currer Bell
Deventer, 1853 (WorldCat)

Remarks: Acton Bell is the pseudonym of Anne Brontë, Currer Bell of Charlotte Brontë.
However, this novel was not written by them.
See: Brussels Bronte Blog 2016


Der Sturmvogel : eine Seegeschichte / vom Verfasser des "Rockingham" [pseud.]

Actually by William Fisher (NEW)

You will find nevertheless three different false authors in the 
catalogues of the different libraries!

[1. Rohan-Chabot, Philippe Ferdinand Auguste de]

[2. Brontë, Anne]

[3. Brontë, Charlotte]

Grimma und Leipzig: Verlags-Comptoir, 1851

First German lines of Part 2:

„Die Zahl der Piraten, welche über den Bug der Thames
gesprungen und an’s Ufer geschwommen waren, um den
unwiderstehlichen Angriff Tandys und des Sergeant Mills
zu vermeiden…“

The digital catalogue WorldCat in July 2017

The English original:

The Petrel : a tale of the sea / by a naval officer [W. Fisher].

William Fisher

London: Henry Colburn, 1850

The vessel Petrel is dispatched to search the Mozambique Channel for pirates.

First lines of Part 2:

“The number of the pirates who had leaped over the bows of
the Thames and swam ashore, to avoid the irresistible charge of
 Tandy and Serjeant Mills…”

PART THREE - From the Author of „Rockingham“

Rockingham oder der jüngere Bruder / Acton Currer Bell [pseud.]

Aus dem Englischen übertragen von A. Kretzschmar, in 3 Bänden

Depending on the library, the author heading is

[1. Rohan-Chabot, Philippe Ferdinand Auguste de]

[2. Brontë, Anne]

[3. Brontë, Charlotte]

Grimma und Leipzig: Verlags-Comptoir, 1851

The first heading is right and the other two are wrong !

The English original:

Rockingham or The younger brother / Philippe Ferdinand Auguste de Rohan Chabot

London: H. Colburn, 1849


In the catalogue of Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich

Wildfell Hall / von Acton Currer Bell, Verfasser von „Jane Eyre“, „Shirley“, „Agnes Grey”

In's Deutsche übertragen von W. E. Drugulin [i.e. Charlotte Brontë] 
Grimma u. Leipzig:
Verlags-Comptoir, 1850

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall / Acton Bell [i.e. Brontë, Anne]
London: Thomas Cautley Newby, 1848. 3 volumes.
It just sold at Sotheby’s, London, for 16.985,-- EUR !!

Anne Brontë’s only separate publication.


Excel file of the Special collection Leihbibliothek Manitius (19th century)

(Universitätsbibliothek Oldenburg)

At the time of my research in the catalogues of
Oldenburg University Library

We know that not only Munich and Oldenburg have important libraries with incorrect Brontë entries. You will find them at the “Bibliothek der Humboldt-Universität Berlin” and at the “Universitätsbibliothek Basel”, Switzerland too.
 This is not surprising for this big number of books which had to be properly prepared for digitalization within a very short time.

Some European and American libraries (Michigan and Illinois) I contacted told me they corrected (or will correct) their indexes.
 As a result the “Bibliothèque nationale et universitaire de Strasbourg“ owns the first current catalogue showing the actual author of the „Sturmvogel“ – William Fisher (1780-1852) ... and “let’s hope the best” that the German GBV (Gemeinsamer Verbundkatalog Göttingen) will update quickly the existing field indexes too!

Part 1: Another false early German Brontë novel, or my discovery of C. Bell’s "Der Sturmvogel - eine Seegeschichte"

Ursula Hager, Hannover

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