Undine (novella)

Undine (novella)

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Undine is a novel by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué
Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué
Friedrich Heinrich Karl de la Motte, Baron Fouqué was a German writer of the romantic style.-Biography:He was born at Brandenburg an der Havel, of a family of French Huguenot origin, as evidenced in his family name...

 in which Undine, a water spirit, marries a knight named Huldebrand in order to gain a soul. It is an early German romance, which has been translated into English and other languages. During the nineteenth century the book was very popular and was, according to The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

 in 1843, "a book which, of all others, if you ask for it at a foreign library, you are sure to find engaged". The story, which has resemblances to The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid
"The Little Mermaid" is a popular fairy tale by the Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen about a young mermaid willing to give up her life in the sea and her identity as a mermaid to gain a human soul and the love of a human prince...

by Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen was a Danish author, fairy tale writer, and poet noted for his children's stories. These include "The Steadfast Tin Soldier," "The Snow Queen," "The Little Mermaid," "Thumbelina," "The Little Match Girl," and "The Ugly Duckling."...

, is descended from Melusine
Melusine is a figure of European legends and folklore, a feminine spirit of fresh waters in sacred springs and rivers.She is usually depicted as a woman who is a serpent or fish from the waist down...

, the French folk-tale of a water-sprite who marries a knight on condition that he shall never see her on Saturdays, when she resumes her mermaid shape. It was also inspired by a text of Paracelsus
Paracelsus was a German-Swiss Renaissance physician, botanist, alchemist, astrologer, and general occultist....

An unabridged English edition of the story published in 1909 was illustrated by Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham
Arthur Rackham was an English book illustrator.-Biography:Rackham was born in London as one of 12 children. At the age of 18, he worked as a clerk at the Westminster Fire Office and began studying part-time at the Lambeth School of Art.In 1892 he left his job and started working for The...

. George Macdonald
George MacDonald
George MacDonald was a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister.Known particularly for his poignant fairy tales and fantasy novels, George MacDonald inspired many authors, such as W. H. Auden, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, E. Nesbit and Madeleine L'Engle. It was C.S...

 thought Undine "the most beautiful" of all fairy stories, and the references to it in such works as Charlotte Yonge's The Daisy Chain and Louisa Alcott's Little Women
Little Women
Little Women is a novel by American author Louisa May Alcott . The book was written and set in the Alcott family home, Orchard House, in Concord, Massachusetts. It was published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869...

show that it was one of the best loved of all books for many 19th-century children. All these stories grow, possibly, out of older mythologies about seal women common in world mythology from early times; Celtic stories about selkie
Selkies are mythological creatures that are found in Faroese, Icelandic, Irish, and Scottish folklore....

s and the Kalevala's fish-woman tale are of this genre.

The first adaptation of Undine was E.T.A. Hoffmann's opera in 1814. It was a collaboration between E.T.A. Hoffman, who composed the score, and Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué
Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué
Friedrich Heinrich Karl de la Motte, Baron Fouqué was a German writer of the romantic style.-Biography:He was born at Brandenburg an der Havel, of a family of French Huguenot origin, as evidenced in his family name...

 who adapted his own work into a libretto. The opera proved highly successful and in his review of Hoffmann's opera, Carl Maria von Weber
Carl Maria von Weber
Carl Maria Friedrich Ernst von Weber was a German composer, conductor, pianist, guitarist and critic, one of the first significant composers of the Romantic school....

 admired it as the kind of composition which the German desires - 'an art work complete in itself, in which partial contributions of the related and collaborating arts blend together, disappear, and, in disappearing, somehow form a new world'.



  • Undine, E.T.A. Hoffmann
    E.T.A. Hoffmann
    Ernst Theodor Wilhelm Hoffmann , better known by his pen name E.T.A. Hoffmann , was a German Romantic author of fantasy and horror, a jurist, composer, music critic, draftsman and caricaturist...

    , 1814
  • Undine, Christian Friedrich Johann Girschner, 1830
  • Undine
    Undine (Lortzing)
    Undine is an opera in four acts by Albert Lortzing. The German libretto was by the composer after Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué's story of the same name....

    , Albert Lortzing
    Albert Lortzing
    Gustav Albert Lortzing was a German composer, actor and singer. He is considered to be the main representative of the German Spieloper, a form similar to the French opéra comique, which grew out of the Singspiel.-Biography:Lortzing was born in Berlin to Johann Gottlieb Lortzing and Charlotte Sophie...

    , 1845
  • Undina, Alexei Lvov, 1846
  • Undina
    Undina (Tchaikovsky)
    Undina is an opera in 3 acts by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The work was composed in 1869. The libretto was written by Vladimir Sollogub, and is based on Vasily Zhukovsky's translation of Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué's Ondine.The opera was composed during the months of January to July, 1869, but...

    , Pyotr Tchaikovsky, 1869
  • Rusalka
    Rusalka (opera)
    Rusalka is an opera by Antonín Dvořák. The Czech libretto was written by the poet Jaroslav Kvapil based on the fairy tales of Karel Jaromír Erben and Božena Němcová. Rusalka is one of the most successful Czech operas, and represents a cornerstone of the repertoire of Czech opera houses...

    , Antonín Dvořák
    Antonín Dvorák
    Antonín Leopold Dvořák was a Czech composer of late Romantic music, who employed the idioms of the folk music of Moravia and his native Bohemia. Dvořák’s own style is sometimes called "romantic-classicist synthesis". His works include symphonic, choral and chamber music, concerti, operas and many...

    , 1901


  • Sonata Undine
    Sonata Undine
    Sonata Undine is a flute and piano sonata written by Carl Reinecke that is based on the novel Undine by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué. It is his opus 167, written in 1882.This sonata is normally associated with the Romantic genre...

    , a Romantic sonata for flute and piano (in E-minor) by Carl Reinecke
    Carl Reinecke
    Carl Heinrich Carsten Reinecke was a German composer, conductor, and pianist.-Biography:Reinecke was born in Altona, Hamburg, Germany; until 1864 the town was under Danish rule. He studied with his father, Johann Peter Rudolph Reinecke, a music teacher...

    , 1882
  • Ondine, a movement in Gaspard de la Nuit
    Gaspard de la nuit
    Gaspard de la nuit: Trois poèmes pour piano d'après Aloysius Bertrand is a piece for solo piano by Maurice Ravel, written in 1908. It has three movements, each based on a poem by Aloysius Bertrand...

    by Maurice Ravel
    Maurice Ravel
    Joseph-Maurice Ravel was a French composer known especially for his melodies, orchestral and instrumental textures and effects...

    , 1908
  • Ondine, a piano prelude by Claude Debussy
    Claude Debussy
    Claude-Achille Debussy was a French composer. Along with Maurice Ravel, he was one of the most prominent figures working within the field of impressionist music, though he himself intensely disliked the term when applied to his compositions...

    , 1911–1913


  • Ondine
    Ondine (ballet)
    Ondine, ou La naïade is a ballet with choreography by Jules Perrot and music by Cesare Pugni, with a libretto inspired by the novel Undine by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué. Pugni dedicated his score to the Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Augusta, a long-time balletomane and patron of the arts in...

    , composed by Cesare Pugni
    Cesare Pugni
    Cesare Pugni was an Italian composer of ballet music, a pianist and a violinist. In his early career he composed operas, symphonies, and various other forms of orchestral music. Pugni is most noted for the ballets he composed while serving as Composer of the Ballet Music to Her Majesty's Theatre...

     and choreographed by Jules Perrot
    Jules Perrot
    Jules-Joseph Perrot was a dancer and choreographer who later became Balletmaster of the Imperial Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia...

    , 1843
  • Coralia, or the Inconstant Knight, choreographed by Paul Taglioni, 1847
  • Undine, composed by Hans Henze
    Hans Werner Henze
    Hans Werner Henze is a German composer of prodigious output best known for "his consistent cultivation of music for the theatre throughout his life"...

     and choreographed by Frederick Ashton
    Frederick Ashton
    Sir Frederick William Mallandaine Ashton OM, CH, CBE was a leading international dancer and choreographer. He is most noted as the founder choreographer of The Royal Ballet in London, but also worked as a director and choreographer of opera, film and theatre revues.-Early life:Ashton was born at...

    , 1958


  • The Loves of Ondine, a film by Andy Warhol
    Andy Warhol
    Andrew Warhola , known as Andy Warhol, was an American painter, printmaker, and filmmaker who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art...

  • Ondine, a film by Neil Jordan
    Neil Jordan
    Neil Patrick Jordan is an Irish filmmaker and novelist. He won an Academy Award for The Crying Game.- Early life :...


  • Ondine, ou la Nymphe des Eaux, a play by René-Charles Guilbert de Pixerécourt, 1830
  • Ondine, a poem by Aloysius Bertrand
    Aloysius Bertrand
    Louis-Jacques-Napoléon “Aloysius” Bertrand was a French poet instrumental in the introduction of the prose poem into French literature and is credited with inspiring later Symbolist poets...

    , 1842
  • Undine, an autobiographical book by Olive Schreiner
    Olive Schreiner
    Olive Schreiner was a South African author, anti-war campaigner and intellectual. She is best remembered today for her novel The Story of an African Farm which has been highly acclaimed ever since its first publication in 1883 for the bold manner in which it dealt with some of the burning issues...

    , 1928
  • Ondine
    Ondine (play)
    Ondine is a play written in 1938 by French dramatist Jean Giraudoux that tells the story of Hans and Ondine. Hans is a knight-errant who has been sent off on a quest by his betrothed. In the forest he meets and falls in love with Ondine, a water-sprite who is attracted to the world of mortal man....

    , a play by Jean Giraudoux
    Jean Giraudoux
    Hippolyte Jean Giraudoux was a French novelist, essayist, diplomat and playwright. He is considered among the most important French dramatists of the period between World War I and World War II. His work is noted for its stylistic elegance and poetic fantasy...

    , 1939
  • Undine geht by Ingeborg Bachmann
    Ingeborg Bachmann
    Ingeborg Bachmann was an Austrian poet and author.-Biography:Bachmann was born in Klagenfurt, in the Austrian state of Carinthia, the daughter of a headmaster. She studied philosophy, psychology, German philology, and law at the universities of Innsbruck, Graz, and Vienna...


  • Undine and Huldbrand, a painting by Henry Fuseli
    Henry Fuseli
    Henry Fuseli was a British painter, draughtsman, and writer on art, of Swiss origin.-Biography:...

    , 1819–1822
  • Undine, a painting by Moritz Retzsch
    Moritz Retzsch
    Friedrich August Moritz Retzsch was a German painter, draughtsman, and etcher.Retzsch was born in the Saxon capital Dresden. He joined the Dresden Academy of Arts in 1798 under Cajetan Toscani and Józef Grassi, later working autodidactically, copying the famous pictures of the Gemäldegalerie,...

    , 1830
  • Undine, a painting by John William Waterhouse
    John William Waterhouse
    John William Waterhouse was an English painter known for working in the Pre-Raphaelite style. He worked several decades after the breakup of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, which had seen its heydey in the mid-nineteenth century, leading him to have gained the moniker of "the modern Pre-Raphaelite"...

    , 1872
  • Ondine, a painting by Paul Gauguin
    Paul Gauguin
    Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin was a leading French Post-Impressionist artist. He was an important figure in the Symbolist movement as a painter, sculptor, print-maker, ceramist, and writer...

    , 1889
  • Undine, a painting by Georges Fantin-Latour
  • Undine, a painting by Daniel Maclise
    Daniel Maclise
    Daniel Maclise was an Irish history, literary and portrait painter, and illustrator, who worked for most of his life in London, England.-Early life:...

  • Undine, a painting by J.M.W. Turner
  • Undine, illustrations by Arthur Rackham
    Arthur Rackham
    Arthur Rackham was an English book illustrator.-Biography:Rackham was born in London as one of 12 children. At the age of 18, he worked as a clerk at the Westminster Fire Office and began studying part-time at the Lambeth School of Art.In 1892 he left his job and started working for The...

  • Ondine de Spa, a sculpture by Pouhon Pierre-Le-Grand
  • Undine with harp, a sculpture by Ludwig Michael von Schwanthaler, 1855