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Grieshuus. The Chronicle of a Family
Publication September 2017

One of Storm's five 'Chroniknovellen', Grieshuus. The Chronicle of a Family (Zur Chronik von Grieshuus) was first published in Westermanns Monatshefte in 1884 and presents the sixth volume in this series of Storm's works in English translation.

The narrator purports to record the extinction during the Northern Wars of an ancient noble family in the 17th century whose seat was the Grieshuus estate in the North German heathland. The older of twin brothers, Junker Heinrich, marries Barbe, a girl of lower rank. After losing his wife in childbirth, Heinrich kills his brother through his brother's act of family treachery leaving his home and newly born daughter Henriette, to remain a fugitive until he returns in old age to serve his grandson Rolf at Grieshuus. He dies through accident on the anniversary of the murder of his brother at the very scene of the fratricide in the forest. The Swedish army is attacked by the Russians who kill his grandson Rolf as a now serving officer in the Swedish army.

The story is divided into two books, the first the historical background to the Grieshuus' family and the cause of the brothers' family conflict, the second book introducing a contemporary narrator; Junker Rolf's tutor, the Magister Caspar Bokenfeld. Storm treats the theme of fratricide as a variation of the Cain and Abel motif and in the manner of tragedy (Schicksalstragödie). Grieshuus. The Chronicle of a Family ( 'Zur Chronik von Grieshuus') represents Storm's closest approach to the genre or the short novel. It contains elements of a wide range of genre characteristics such as drama, tragedy, opera, and the Gothic novel.

Cover - Grieshuus The chronical of a family

 



   

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