The first novel to be published by a woman in German, la Roche’s tale centres on the seduction and destruction (to borrow Ellen Pilsworth’s phrase!) of the eponymous protagonist. Told through letters, this novel follows the fate of Sophie as she journeys from her family home to England, where she falls under the spell of the attractive local aristocracy. A key text to utilise sentimentality, la Roche’s novel provides an engaging alternative to Goethe’s Leiden des jungen Werthers, which it is said to have inspired, in part.

Translated? Yes! Several translations of this text appear on Amazon.


One thought on “von la Roche, Sophie, Geschichte des Fräuleins von Sternheim (1771)

  1. Roche’s book ties in with English Age of Sensibility work _Pamela_ by Samuel Richardson, demonstrating the cross-pollination of genres, themes, and values across European cultures during the Enlightenment.


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