Longing and Belonging Within an Academic Family of the 19th Century: The Example of Clarissa and Leopold von Ranke

Andreas Dieter Boldt


This essay will examine the perceptions of longing and belonging of Clarissa von Ranke, nee Graves (1808-71) and her husband, the German historian Leopold von Ranke (1795-1886). While Leopold was greatly influenced by his firmly rooted belonging to the historically grown state of Prussia, not the nation-state of Germany created in 1871, Clarissa was an Anglo-Irish living in Berlin, since her marriage in 1843. Clarissa incorporated many aspects of her Irish cultural heritage into her daily living in Berlin, thus creating an international and diverse environment. Even if, over time, Clarissa felt more like a Prussian, she never forgot her home in Ireland. Regardless of the varying national aspects of belonging, both Leopold and Clarissa shared a common identity with a cultural European unity represented in the cosmopolitan cultural atmosphere of the Salon Ranke run by Clarissa and the writing of European national histories by Leopold.


European identity, historiography, Salon Ranke, poetry, Irish-German relations

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/2646

NBN: http://nbn.depositolegale.it/urn%3Anbn%3Ait%3Aunica-20379

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