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Dumbarton Oaks Publication Discussed at German Embassy

Posted On January 06, 2017 | 16:14 pm | by lainw | Permalink
Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau’s Letters of a Dead Man

On April 13, German Ambassador Peter Wittig and his wife, Huberta von Voss-Wittig, hosted a book discussion of the recent Dumbarton Oaks publication Letters of a Dead Man, the first full English translation of a remarkable volume by the early nineteenth-century traveler, landscape designer, and author Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau. Consumed by his desire to finance an ambitious English-style landscape park on his estate in Saxony, Pückler amicably divorced his wife (who remained behind to look after the estate) and embarked on a tour of England in search of a wealthy bride. His romantic search failed, but produced instead a best-selling mix of memoir, travelogue, political commentary, and epistolary novel that served as an alternative source of support for the magnificent Muskauer Park, now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Director of Garden and Landscape Studies John Beardsley and Linda Parshall, the book’s editor and translator, discussed aspects of Pückler’s career and letters. Parshall then read excerpts from the book ranging from descriptions of the British landscape and the comforts of its nineteenth-century inns to notable political figures and events of the period.