These letters will fit into the growing interest with the Irish in Europe and it will provide new information on the role and influence of educated Irish women while filling an important gap in the area of women's history. This edition of the letters fit with the growing interest of the Irish in Europe and it will provide new information on the role and influence of educated Irish women. It will also fill an important gap in the area of women's history by presenting one of the most amazing women in international relationships and an extraordinary ambassador for Anglo-Irish culture in Germany: Clarissa von Ranke (1808-1871). Scholars will have access to eyewitness reports through Clarissa's critical lens of events as diverse as the European Revolution of 1848/49, the wars of German Unification in 1864 and 1866 and the Franco-Prussian war of 1870/71. In her letters, Clarissa discussed family matters, Ranke's historical writing, and European affairs. She built up a social circle, known as the 'Salon Ranke' where Enlightenment thought met Romanticism.
Although the salon was dominated by conservative thought, several 'revolutionary' opinions of that time were discussed: the position of women, the role of religion in a changing society, international cultural exchange and nation-building of different states. This salon was well-known for its musical parties, poetry classes, and discussions on literature (especially Shakespeare), politics and history. Clarissa also gave classes in various languages including French, Italian and English.
1. Marriage and the early years in Berlin 1843-47; 2. Revolution and personal losses 1848-53; 3. Establishment of the 'Salon Ranke' 1854-63; 4. The early years of the Bismarck era 1864-69; 5. Franco-German War and the deaths of Clarissa and Leopold von Ranke 1870-71/86.