Mein Rhein!
- Sylva, Carmen

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Commentary

Pseudonym of Queen Elizabeth (1843-1916), consort of Charles I, King of Romania, Carmen Sylva’s collection of short poems accompanied by scenic views of the Rhine Valley is another photopoetic curiosity. Little photopoetic work of nineteenth-century Germany has been uncovered, though the Rhine featured in Francis Frith’s photographic edition of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Hyperion (1865). Sylva was a prolific writer, publishing around fifty volumes of poetry, short stories, and aphorisms, among other genres.

The photographer is an ‘E Doepler’, according to Sylva’s volume. A Professor Emil Doepler, from Berlin, is paraphrased in a copy of the Photographic Times (1896) as ‘conced[ing]’ – in the words of the newspaper – ‘that photography can produce the effect of art by artistic conception, skilful disposition in the given space, and by good lighting.’ (Editorial notes, Photographic Times, vol. 28, no. 2 (February, 1896), p.109.) Doepler’s photographs in Mein Rhein bear some hallmarks of this ‘artistic conception’, and appear to document aspects of the Rhine Valley rather than illustrate particular images in Sylva’s poetry.

Book Details

Author: Sylva, Carmen
Title: Mein Rhein!
Publication Year: 1884
Poets Featured: Sylva, Carmen
Photographers Featured: Doepler, Emil
Subjects: Rhine River Valley, Rhine, Germany
Photographic process: Calotypes

This book can be found in the University of St Andrews Library catalogue HERE

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