Reading Clubs, Language Societies and Female Education in Fin-de-Siècle Copenhagen

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Copenhagen became increasingly cosmopolitan at the end of the nineteenth century, as foreign artists and academics settled in the city, and Georg Brandes’s lectures on ‘The Modern Breakthrough’ introduced the literatures of France and England to Danish readers. This essay examines the role played by women’s reading clubs, language societies and literary magazines in the dissemination of literature in foreign languages to a Copenhagen audience. The founding of international language societies and private libraries took place alongside the establishment of art schools for women. With their long opening hours, the reading clubs became popular alternatives to the domestic sphere, and their aesthetic interiors became exhibition spaces where the newly educated female artists could display their works to the Copenhagen bourgeoisie. My essay examines these physical and literary cosmopolitan spaces with a view to unveiling the increasing internationalism among middle- and lower middle-class women in the Danish capital at the fin de siècle.
Original languageEnglish
JournalForum for Modern Language Studies
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)274–290
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2017

ID: 179358448