Discuss Briefroman: Definition and Examples

The term ‘Briefroman’ (meaning ‘letter novel’ in Germany) is derived from Samuel Richardson’s Pamela and J.-J. Rousseau’s La Nouvelle Héloïse

In Germany there were two kinds of
epistolary novel or letter novel:

(A) The first kind of Briefroman is in which all the letters are written by one person;


Goethe’s Die Leiden des jungen Werthers (1774),

Hölderlin’s Hyperion(1797, 1799)

Baroness von Heyking’s Briefe die ihn nichterreichten (1903)

(B) The second kind of Briefroman is in which the letters are by two or more people (though most of them are by the main character).


Johann Hermes’s Sophiens Reise von Memel nachSachsen (1769-73)

Sophie von La Roche’s Geschichte des Fräuleins von Sternheim (1771).

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