A moving love story and a vivid depiction of Berlin in the 1870s, from Germany's greatest nineteenth-century novelist Theodor Fontane.
Lene is a beautiful, orphaned young seamstress, and Botho is a handsome, aristocratic cavalry officer. They are in love, yet know they have only a short time together as society deems their relationship impossible and refuses to acknowledge the seriousness of their feelings. But while Botho appears to have a glittering life ahead of him, the love he feels may yet be his undoing. Published in 1887, On Tangled Paths caused a scandal on publication with its portrayal of a sexual affair across the classes, and is a taut, flawless masterpiece.
Theodor Fontane was born in the Prussian province of Brandenburg in 1819. After qualifying as a pharmacist, he made his living as a writer. From 1855 to 1859, he lived in London and worked as a freelance journalist and press agent for the Prussian embassy. While working as a war correspondent during the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1 he was taken prisoner, but released after two months. His first novel, Before the Storm , was published when he was fifty-eight and was followed by sixteen further novels, of which Effi Briest , No Way Back and On Tangled Paths are all published in Penguin Classics. He died in 1898.
Peter James Bowman completed a PhD on Fontane at Cambridge University, and now works as a writer and translator.
' On Tangled Paths has the flawless logic and beautiful design of the novella at its best' - Paul Binding, The Spectator
'There is an undertow of sadness to this novel, yet to read it is a joy, for its humanity, subtlety and visual immediacy' - Ruth Pavey, The Independent
'Theodor Fontane's first true masterpiece; it has a perfect beginning, a perfect ending, and no superfluous sentence in between' - Henry Garland
Earn By Promoting Books
Earn money by sharing your favourite books through our Affiliate programme.Become an Affiliate