Schon der Gedanke: Du siehst England, machte mich für Freude beben …; denn ich bekenne: Bücher und Reisen waren immer für mich die einzige vollkommene Glückseligkeit dieses Lebens. Besonders England, dessen Geschichte, Schriftsteller und Landwirthschaft, ich mir schon so lange bekannt machte, sie schon so lange liebte – war immer ein Punkt, nach welchem meine ganze Seele begierig war; und diese letzte halbe Stunde auf der See war mir unschätzbar.1
The writer Sophie von La Roche (1731–1807) used these effusive words to describe her feelings as she approached the "Queen of Islands"2 on 4 September 1786, at the height of Anglophilia. Anglophilia is the "passion for England, the English and every English".3 It can arise in any period;4 this article, however deals with a specific historical phenomenon that spread throughout 18th-century Europe, but above all in Germany, and reached its highpoint in the two decades preceding the French Revolution. There were examples of Anglophilia in France,5 Russia6 and Italy.7 However, in Germany it achieved an overarching importance. The cultural construct of Anglophilia was characterised by the fact that it was not restricted to individual spheres of life such as sport or fashion; instead, an Anglophile cultivated a positive view of everything that came from England. Sophie von La Roche was articulating not only her personal feelings, but also a common form of perception that characterised a certain phase of German Enlightenment thought. By mentioning history, literature and agriculture, she identified just three fields that stood for the wide spectrum of topics where England seemed to set an example. Other authors focused more on politics, the theatre or garden design. Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744–1803) summed it up as the "Geschichte, Philosophie, Politik und Sonderbarkeiten dieser wunderbaren Nation".8 For the Prussian publicist Johann Wilhelm von Archenholtz (1743–1812), the English were "das aufgeklärteste Volk unserer Erde".9
Inspiration from the French Enlightenment
Anglophilia was a phenomenon of the 18th-century Enlightenment and as such developed as an undercurrent within a period of French cultural hegemony. During the reign of Louis XIV (1638–1715), the French court, the French language and French culture had set the standards for the rest of Europe. After his death, however, this dominance weakened. Even during the Régence, Anglophile tones made themselves heard, for example with the abandonment of highly formalised dances in favour of English country dances.10 Following the "Glorious Revolution", the whole of Europe had followed political events on the British Isle with great interest. Huguenots, who had flocked to Holland and England in the wake of the revocation of the 1598 Edict of Nantes,11 praised these countries as refuges of liberty. Voltaire (1694–1778), in particular, aroused the interest of Enlightenment Europe in England with his Letters concerning the English Nation (1733), published during his stay in England.12 In his eyes, this was the country of (empirical) philosophy, the modern natural sciences, free thought, tolerance, civil activeness and prosperity.13 Montesquieu (1689–1755), who also travelled through England, outlined in De l'Esprit des lois (1748) the mixed constitution with the separation of the legislature, executive and judiciary as the ideal form of a free constitution; the English pattern was clearly recognisable.14 Through Voltaire, English authors such as Henry St. John Viscount Bolingbroke (1678–1751), Alexander Pope (1688–1744), Joseph Addison (1672–1719) and William Shakespeare (1564–1616) acquired fame in France. Anglophilia became so fashionable in France after the mid-18th century that critics soon denounced and mocked it as "Anglomania".15
Esteem for a foreign nation must be understood against the backdrop of one's judgement on one's own country. In both France and Germany, Anglophilia normally contained an element of criticism of local society. The England described by Voltaire and Montesquieu was the opposite of the French form of rule. Anglophiles praised the liberty and naturalness of the English example. Appeals to the example of England contained the potential of a "proximate stranger": in contrast to the exoticists and utopians, whose longings had no concrete aim,16 the Anglophiles referred to another world that was within easy reach; one only needed to brave a short journey by sea in order to see for oneself how things were in England. As a result, Anglophile concepts were prone to rebuttals. Anglophiles risked the danger of disappointment if they dared confront the "proximate stranger".17
In contrast to France, whose Enlighteners brought Anglophilia to Germany, the German view of England acquired a different critical meaning. Certainly, aristocracy, royal arbitrariness and limitations on public expressions of opinion were not unknown in Germany. To a certain extent, the new potential for identification offered by Enlightened Anglophilia overlapped. However, the image of England took on more complex forms in that – where it was constructed to contrast with France – it embodied civic equality and Germanic liberty. Some Anglophiles played off England against France. The French origins of the European aristocracy seemed too obvious to ignore.18 In addition, a concept of "Germanic freedom" developed that deduced a certain level of affinity and similarity based on the kinship of the German and English peoples.19 Thus, the English were "die auf eine Insel verpflanzten Deutschen",20 or to put it another way: English freedom was also an appropriate yardstick for the situation in the small German states. Something that was not possible in Germany could be studied through the example of England. Here, two complementary trends overlapped: although Anglophilia originated in France, it could be used against the French (or against certain aspects of French culture and society). The postulate of German-English affinity legitimised the orientation towards a new ideal of culture that was independent of France.
Foundations of Anglophilia in Germany
What made Anglophilia possible in Germany? The first decisive factor is that Protestant Germany (like Protestant Switzerland) saw itself in a complex tangle of relationships with England, in an essentially common cultural space described by travellers' accounts, particularly those of theologians. Lutheran pastors such as Henrich Ludolf Benthem (1661–1723), Georg Wilhelm Alberti (1723–1758) and Gebhard Friedrich August Wendeborn (1742–1811) not only spent a considerable time in England, but also wrote the definitive works for the German audience on the country's geography and culture.21 The older Reformation links between the Swiss cities and England meant that English thought also had an impact on the literary discourse of Swiss writers such as Johann Jakob Bodmer (1698–1783) and Johann Jakob Breitinger (1701–1776). They drew on English sources and literature to support their defence of artistic fantasy, the naturalistic and the emotional against the Leipzig group around the literary critic Johann Christoph Gottsched (1700–1766) and its orientation towards French classicism.22 In retrospect, one of the most insightful travelogues during the early Enlightenment was that by Beat Ludwig von Muralt (1665–1749), a Protestant from Bern raised in a French environment.23 Jurist Jean-Louis de Lolme (1740–1806)from Genf wrote the most important political text on constitutional structures after Montesquieu.24 In short, while at the European level the Huguenots are considered to have had a considerable propagandistic impact, one must remember that there was a considerable willingness to accept all things English in Protestant Europe.
The close relations between England and the Hanseatic cities since the Middle Ages also provided the foundations for Anglophilia. Merchants from Bremen, Kiel, Lubeck, Stettin, Konigsberg, Danzig and Riga maintained a lively relationship with London, as did the many British, above all Scottish, immigrants to the Hanseatic cities. The closest contacts were between London and Hamburg, known at the time as the "gateway to England". In the theatre, press, book trade, patriotic societies and Freemasonry, change in Hamburg drew on English inspirations and Hamburg was usually the first city on the continent to adopt English ways and pass them on to the rest of Germany.25
In addition, there were also the dynastic links through the Hanoverian dynasty after the Elector of Braunschweig-Lüneburg became king of England under the name of George I (1660–1727). Gottingen, the Electorate's university founded in 1734, carefully cultivated the English connection. The university library could make use of the diplomatic post.26 English nobles studied in Gottingen, as indeed did royal princes.27 Professors at Gottingen such as Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799) had the opportunity to travel to England and spend long periods there.28 Gottingen, the reforming university of the Enlightenment, became a gateway for English thought and the centre of Anglophilia in Germany. In the words of the historian Ludwig Timotheus Spittler (1752–1810), a professor at Gottingen, "Wir sind ja hier so gerne Halb-Engländer, und gewiß nicht bloß in Kleidung, Sitte und Mode, sondern auch im Charakter".29
Anglophilia as a Cultural Construct
Anglophilia is a cultural construct made up of mutually reinforcing components. Admittedly, one can separate analytically individual strands (for example, landscape gardening and the sentimental novel). However, on closer examination, it becomes clear that the central characteristic of the cultural construct is the very interdependence of the various areas, the way they overlap and their foundation in common values. When talking of Anglophilia, one must emphasize the central values of "freedom" and "nature".30 While "freedom" has an essentially political meaning, it can also be an ethical and aesthetic value. "Nature" contains not only the contrast to "culture", but also the reference to the Ancient world (classically understood as a period in which mankind was still unspoilt); religious, aesthetic and scientific elements intertwine with one another here. The idea of England was repeatedly interlocked with that of freedom, individual self-realisation, relative equality, forceful nationality, the orientation towards empirical experience (instead of theory or ideology), the inclination to hard work in commerce and industry, and a gift for invention.
In the arts, England seemed, at first, to be a latecomer. The adoption of developments within the visual arts and music emanating from Italy and later, in a second phase, France took place in the 18th century as a result of an extensive network of patronage, the emergence of a market for literature, music and art, and a culture of connoisseurship that extended beyond the aristocracy into the middle classes. Only later did an art form appear – landscape gardening – that seemed specifically English, not only in the English self-image, but also in that of travellers from continental Europe. The writer and politician Horace Walpole (1717-1797) put it thus: "We have discovered the point of perfection. We have given the true model of gardening to the world; let other countries mimic or corrupt our taste; but let it reign here in its verdant throne".31 By 1785, this was already common.32 Not a few Europeans from various countries travelled to England with the express goal of taking inspiration from an ideal that was not only fashionable, but also genuinely modern in that it corresponded to contemporary sensibilities. The more formal Italian and French modes of gardening, with their straight allées, trimmed trees and regimented beddings, were replaced by a form of art inspired by the ideal of nature, which was organised in order to offer the strolling viewer extremely varied views of winding paths and groups of trees and bushes (including exotic trees), as well as surprising vistas of the open landscape.
For people of this period, the close relationship to the modes of seeing created by the visual arts is evident in the dictum formulated by Joseph Spence (1699–1768): "All garden is landscape-painting. Just like a landscape hung up."33 That which Claude Lorrain (1600–1682) had created for landscape painting should be converted into natural life.34 Painters such as Jacob van Ruisdael (1628–1682) and Salvator Rosa (1615–1673) offered wilder versions. The development of the garden traces the change in sensibility from the Classical ideal to the picturesque and, indeed, the sublime. The young Edmund Burke (1729–1797) formulated in his A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757) the fundamentals of a new aesthetic that exerted considerable influence on the continent.35 From then on, one looked at the countryside differently; consequently, wild mountainous regions such as the Swiss Alps and indeed the local peripheries of Wales and Scotland were perceived through new eyes.36 The wild and sublime which forced the viewer back into himself, inspiring fear, matched well the Anglophile concept of nature. "Pleasant horror" became a leitmotif of literary aesthetics.37 Gothic fiction acquired an audience in England earlier than elsewhere. The construct of Ossian is related to this, indicating the connection of modern sensibility with archaic roots.38
One could devote an entire chapter to the reception of Shakespeare!39 This was not simply a process of literary reception; rather, by devoting themselves to the English playwright, successive generations of writers contributed to the development of a new idea of mankind. Shakespeare's individual and undeniably powerful dramas could provide something which the period's anthropology could not: the acknowledgement of Shakespeare as a universal judge of character made it possible to speak of humanity beyond reason. While initially the question was only how one could overcome the Classical understanding of the world, the discussion was diverted into a debate on the assumed affinity of German and English national characters. This meant a pluralisation in that it broke down the normative imperatives set by ancient Greece. The link to a climatic region and a particular level of civilisation made it possible to historicise the dramatic archetypes. This created an image of mankind that overcame the fissures of 1800 and heralded a specific form of modernity. This transformation took place in the medium literature, with Shakespeare's dramas offering exempla historica from which theorists of drama could learn and which playwrights could take as archetypes for their own characters. "Nichts so Natur als Schäkespeares Menschen", exclaimed the young Goethe in 1771 in his speech Zum Schäkespears Tag.40 This insight belongs to the context of Anglophilia, as his adoption by Friedrich Nicolai (1733–1811), Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729–1781), Herder and Friedrich von Schlegel (1772–1829) indicates. The latter put it in his lecture of 1803/1804 thus: "Uns Deutschen aber ist unter allen romantischen Dichtern keiner so nahe verwandt, keiner sowohl der äußern Form der Behandlung als dem innern Geiste nach so ganz deutsch wie er."41
The considerable multiplicity of the Anglophile cultural template is evident in the tension between the middle-class, rational, empirical and industrious on the one hand and the modern sensibility, on the other, that seems to contradict these aspects in that it connotes transformation, reprocessing and compensation. Anglophiles adopted both elements: while they marvelled at London's shop windows and visited the factories of Birmingham, they understood the city and the beginnings of the industrial revolution and urbanisation as fearsome and inhumane. The author Karl Philipp Moritz (1756–1793) wrote on his arrival in Richmond: "Tage und Stunden fingen mich an zu gereuen, die ich in London zugebracht hatte, und ich machte mir tausend Vorwürfe wegen meiner Unentschlossenheit, dass ich nicht schon längst jenen großen Kerker verlassen hatte, um mich in einem Paradiese zu verweilen."42 One travelled to England in order to absorb inspiration for the transfer of technology; entrepreneurs,43 farmers,44 architects,45 doctors and naturalists46 chose this destination. At the same time, one travelled to England in order to savour the new sensibility. The decisive element of the cultural construct of Anglophilia is that one cannot simply ascribe the industrial components to the commercial tourists and the aesthetic ones to the writers and artists. The scope of perceptions of each individual traveller reveals instead the complexity of the Anglophile disposition.
Political Aspects of Anglophilia
Der Haupt-Charakterzug der Britten ist der ihnen ganz eigenthümliche Public Spirit; eine in allen andern Ländern so unbekannte Tugend, daß man in keiner lebenden Sprache einen Namen dafür hat. Das Wort Nationalgeist bezeichnet diese edle brittische Eigenschaft nur sehr unvollkommen. Eigentlich ist es der Wille, oder das eifrige Bestreben einzelner Menschen, das allgemeine Beste zu bewirken.47
With these sentences, Archenholtz highlighted one of the most powerful attractions for Anglophiles, which provided an opportunity for both introspection of and application in one's own life. Public spirit means, in this sense, something ethical. While the German states (and Enlightened absolutism!) gave individuals from the middle classes little room for self-expression, a form of public had emerged in England whose liberality seemed to point the way to the future:
In despotischen Staaten ist selbst der aufgeklärte Mensch, reich oder arm, vornehm oder niedrig, nur mit seiner eigenen Erhaltung beschäftigt; er kann bloß fromme Wünsche für die übrige Menschheit thun, und überläßt es den Mächtigen dieser Erde sie zu realisieren. Die Britten aber, ohne Rücksicht, ob es Könige thun, schreiten selbst zu Werke.48
The general slogan of "freedom" is here ensconced in social ethics. The well-known attributes of the separation of powers, trial by jury and so on49 do not alone characterise the English political world. It is a civilian world, in which the military does not play a role; it is a middle-class world, in which social rank is less important than on the continent. This is the ideal of "taking the leash off those who work hard" bound up with the conviction that this unimpeded self-realisation also guarantees salus publica. German observers, by visiting London coffee houses and experiencing the tumult of parliamentary elections, by listening to the great speakers in the House of Commons and reading the newspapers, partook of some of the freedom they wished at home. Karl Philipp Moritz was enthralled:
O lieber Freund, wenn man hier siehet, wie der geringste Karrenschieber an dem was vorgeht, seine Teilnehmung bezeigt, wie die kleinsten Kinder schon in den Geist des Volks mit einstimmen, kurz wie ein jeder hier sein Gefühl zu erkennen gibt, daß er auch ein Mensch und ein Engländer sei, so gut wie sein König und sein Minister, dabei wird einem doch ganz anders zu Mute, als wenn wir bei uns in Berlin die Soldaten exerzieren sehen.50
The political component of the English ideal clearly meant a proposition for reform of the situation in Germany. By praising England, one could refer to the utopia of another society that really existed, a different political system, an alternative public sphere. German Anglophiles approached the question of freedom of the press in terms of "for" and "against". Just as the British saw themselves as the descendents of ancient Rome so did German onlookers perceive them as such.51 Educated Germans experienced in England the reality about which they had read in the works of Classical authors. The association socio-ethics granted middle-class political thought a character that was humane and philanthropic rather than rebellious.
This is closely connected to those components that break up the contradiction between the Anglophiles' positive image of England and the negative one of themselves – the national. On the island, one could experience the robust national consciousness of John Bull. German Anglophiles were attracted rather than repelled by this: in England, one could see genuine national pride, i.e. that which politically divided German lacked. In particular, Wendeborn extended this to the conclusion that not only did xenophobia and chauvinism dominated the English body politic, but that the development of a German national consciousness following the English pattern was a patriotic and moral task: Germans were not indifferent to a national mindset due to a differentiated mentality, but rather egotism and blind adherence to corporate status.52
Travelling as a Medium of Cultural Transfer
An important element of Anglophilia was based on journeys to England, the inspection of the "promised land". In contrast to the 16th and 17th centuries, all the important 18th-century writers on England had travelled the country and could write from their own experience, although they also used English books, journals and newspapers as sources.53 In accordance with the standards of referencing and quotation established by the Enlightenment, one would expect no less.54 Experts on England such as Archenholtz, Wendeborn and Georg Forster (1754–1794) had lived in the country for several years. Only the guidebook by Johann Jacob Volkmann (1732–1803) represented nothing more than a compilation.55
Journeys to England had become easier in the 18th century due to clear improvements in the infrastructure (of country roads, turnpike roads, hostels and taverns).56 The next leap forward in land travel took place with the introduction of the railway and in sea travel with the steamship in the early 19th century. In general, the travellers praised the safety and comfort of travelling in English stagecoaches, although a residual fear of highwaymen remained as a spur to the fantasy that could be expressed in biographies of criminals.57 Journeys by stagecoach had become so regular, so cheap and so comfortable that wayfarers such as Moritz noticed that only vagrants still travelled by foot.58 The regular stagecoach routes made visits to England easier to plan and complete in a predictable time. While the grand tours of an earlier age could last years, journeys in the epoch of the middle classes only required weeks or, at most, months. Some people could complete a summer holiday in England in six to eight weeks; in the late 18th century, such recuperative trips were no longer rare among professionals and merchants.
All German travellers visited London, spending the longest part of their trip in what, at the time, was Europe's largest and most fascinating city. Just as Paris became the "capital of the world" in the 19th century, so one can see London occupying this position in the 18th century.59 In addition, German travellers visited the university cities of Oxford and Cambridge, spa towns such as Bath and also the new industrial centres, for example Manchester and Birmingham. At first, Anglophiles generally ignored rural England and the rest of Britain. Not until the late 18th century did travellers start visiting the natural beauties of the Lake District; Moritz was one of the first German travellers to crawl through Derbyshire's caves.60 Wendeborn wrote in 1791 that in England it had also become fashionable to travel to Wales.61 Scotland also became a travel destination in the late 18th century.62 Not all visitors realised that the capital was not actually England in nuce, but rather an international melting pot. Certainly, more discerning observers such as the head of the Hamburg commercial academy Johann Georg Büsch (1728–1800) and Johanna Schopenhauer (1766–1838), the mother of the philosopher, noticed that London consisted of the City of London and the court in Westminster, and that one could only really discern the English national character from the middle classes.63 This tendency to idealise in the epoch of Anglophilia often produced unthinkingly positive assessments. The German preacher Wendeborn, who lived in London, claimed on the basis of his experience of two decades:
Unter den Ausländern, welche über die englische Nation geschrieben, haben die meisten, ein paar ausgenommen, sich nur kurze Zeit, oftmals ohne die englische Sprache zu verstehen, in London aufgehalten. Sie haben die Coffee- und Komödienhäuser nebst einigen unbedeutenden Gesellschaften besucht und sich fähig gehalten, über ein Volk zu schreiben, mit dessen Sitten und Denkungsart sie so wenig bekannt geworden als irgendeines andern, dessen Wohnplätze sie nur auf der Landcharte gesehen.64
Although travelling may have been indispensible for cultural transfer, it had a questionable aspect in that it could provide the foundations for highly generalised judgements!
English Language and Literature in Germany
At the beginning of the 18th century, the ability to speak in English in Germany was very rare and English books almost unobtainable. When the art and book collector Zacharias Conrad von Uffenbach was planning his journey to England, the only English book he could find in Frankfurt was a bible; he said that the only bookshop with English books on the continent was in Amsterdam.65 At the end of the 18th century, the ability to speak English was so common in Germany that the editor and writer Johann Gottfried Seume (1763–1810) could inform Sophie von La Roche that in Leipzig there was a proof-reader for English texts in every street.66 Formal instruction in English did not exist at the beginning of this epoch; those who wanted to learn the language, for example Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) and his sister Cornelia (1750–1777), had to take private lessons with an English tutor.67 In contrast, from the 1770s, the majority of German universities offered English courses, as did many schools.68 In Germany, English was an academic language like Latin rather than a spoken language like French. Germans learned English primarily from books and had considerable difficulties with pronunciation and making themselves understood when they met Englishmen.69 Initially, most English books were tools for learning the language such as grammars, guides to letter writing and anthologies. However, the social and literary periodicals later came to play an important role in spreading the English language because they contained short texts, dialogues and descriptions of everyday situations. For many years, Sophie von La Roche edified herself by reading a piece from the Spectator before going to sleep.70 From 1787, Archenholtz published in Hamburg the continent's first English-language journal, The British Mercury (1787–1790).71
A decisive factor in the spread of the English language in 18th-cenutry Europe was the English literary renaissance of the Augustan period. The writings of Addison, Richard Steele (1672–1729) and Pope first achieved an audience for English writing in Germany.72 This was followed by a surge in interest for John Milton's (1608-1674) great epic Paradise Lost, the translation of which by Bodmer was epochal and paved the way for the poet Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock (1724–1803). In a later phase, Germans read the Sentimental novelists: Samuel Richardson (1689–1761), Henry Fielding (1707–1754) and Laurence Sterne (1713–1768) opened a new era in Germany.73 The most frequently published work was, incidentally, Oliver Goldsmith's (1728–1774) Vicar of Wakefield.74 Lastly, Shakespeare also achieved a special importance for the development of German drama. Herder summarised this development thus:
Daher sind von den Engländern selbst ihre trefflichsten Schriften kaum mit so reger, treuer Wärme aufgenommen worden, als von uns Shakespeare, Milton, Addison, Swift, Thomson, Sterne, Hume, Robertson, Gibbon aufgenommen sind. Richardsons drei Romane haben in Deutschland ihre goldene Zeit erlebet; Youngs Nachtgedanken, Tom Jones, Der Landpriester haben in Deutschland Sekten gestiftet; in englischen Zeitschriften haben wir bewundert, selbst was wir nicht verstanden, was für uns nicht geschrieben war. Und wer wäre es, der die Schotten Ferguson, Smith, Stewart, Millar, Blair nicht ehrte?75
The periods of readership embody entirely different tendencies: the propagation of reason and moderation in the early phase was replaced by the discussion of religious literature at a time when it was undergoing secularisation. The reference to reason was augmented by the impression that England also stood for the dark side of Enlightenment with its emphasis on solitude and death. Ossian is, after all, more a precursor of Romanticism than part of the Enlightenment mainstream.
The Book Trade as a Medium of Cultural Transfer
Books from England had once been in Latin. During the 18th century, above all its second half, German booksellers began selling more and more English-language books. The companies of Wendler, Weidmann and Reich in Leipzig played a leading role, as did the bookseller Carl Heydinger, who was based in London and whose assortment of English books was considerable. From about 1770, there is evidence of an increase in book imports.76 In addition to academic literature and travelogues, historical works and, in particular, novels were extremely important. In 1788, at the apex of Anglophilia, German and Swiss publishers began printing or reprinting their own editions of English literary works. In particular, Thurneysen in Basel made a name for himself in this area, as did Richter in Altenburg and Walther in Dresden.77 The establishment of the continent's first English bookshop in 1788 by William Remnant in Hamburg also represented a new stage.78 Now, it was possible to order any book one wanted from England at little effort and low cost. In this regard, journals were important mediators, not only through the articles they contained, but also their reviews and book announcements.79 Booksellers and writers orientated towards England ordered periodicals from England themselves. In addition, the reviews in the Göttingischen Gelehrten Anzeigen granted it an important mediatory position because in Gottingen one had quicker and greater access to English books than elsewhere. On average, between five and ten percent of the books reviewed in this organ were in English, for example 53 works in the 1769.80 No other German periodical reached a comparable number.
Translation as Cultural Transfer
Regarding the transfer of ideas, it is necessary to mention that in the early decades English writings only acquired notice in Germany after they had been translated into French or discussed in French periodicals.81 To a certain extent, English works (for example, in the realms of philosophy, theology and medicine) were translated into Latin for the European audience. The Dutch also played the role of mediator here: many works only arrived in Germany after they had been reprinted in Holland or discussed in Dutch journals.82 The Huguenots also helped find a European audience for English writing – in England itself, in Holland and in Germany. One can see in the Huguenots an elite encouraging cultural transfer that not only possessed international contacts, but also propagated English thought for theological and ideological reasons.83 There is clear evidence that original translations from English gradually pushed out second-hand translations.84 At the same time, the awareness of this problem increased among readers and in the late 18th century, with the development of the German literary language, the need arose to replace older translations into German with new translations of the same work in order to meet the new standards.
Two tendencies are evident in the body of writing translated from English into German: diversification and acceleration.85 Anglophilia, which had been common since the 1770s, stimulated ever more translations dealing with an increasing number of areas of life, not only from belles lettres, but also scholarly literature and books offering practical advice. The empirical inclination of the English mind was reflected in the particularly high regard accorded to non-fiction written by English writers, who were ascribed clear powers of observation. Thus, travel literature and medical works were translated with particular enthusiasm.
Within this, there were shifts in emphasis, for example when John Locke's (1632–1704) pedagogical writings had more success than his philosophical works or David Hume (1711–1776) was read more as a historian than a philosopher.86 It has also been proven that the translation of political writings were often subjected to a process of adaption to the target culture that sometimes led to misunderstandings.87
Busy 18th-century translators, working from English into German, included Theodor Arnold (1683–1771), Ludwig Friedrich Vischer (1677–1743), Barthold Hinrich Brockes (1680–1747), Johann Joachim Eschenburg (1743–1820), Johann Joachim Christoph Bode (1731–1793), Siegmund Jacob Baumgarten (1706–1757), Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann (1755–1843), Christian Friedrich Michaelis (1754–1814), Wilhelm Christhelf Siegmund Mylius (1753–1827), Friedrich August Adrian Diel (1756–1833), Johann Lorenz Benzler (1747–1817), Carl Grosse (1768–1847), Johann Reinhold Forster (1729–1798) and Georg Forster, as well as Christian Garve (1742–1798).88
As the scope of English writing broadened, so the rate of translation increased in the second half of the 18th century. Instead of a gap of several years between the original publication and translation, now it was just one; indeed, several texts appeared in Germany in the same year as in England. The speed of the translations developed as a result of the increasingly fierce competition among publishers and translators. The number of translations increased from the 1740s, reaching their high point in the two decades before 1789.89
The End of Anglophilia?
The zenith of Anglophilia ended with the French Revolution. Well-known representatives of Anglophilia such as Archenholtz and Wendeborn broke with their ideal of England, seeing now the humanist goals of freedom and equality being realised in France, at least during the early phases of the French Revolution.90 Certainly, there were also Anglophiles such as Justus Möser (1720–1794) and Sophie von La Roche who remained loyal to their ideal of England, indeed seeing that the developments in France confirmed their belief that England in fact embodied more reasonable, stabile and harmonious inclinations. After 1800, Anglophilia was therefore no longer unequivocally a matter for progressives and liberals, but in part a component of the restorationist ideal of conservatives who followed Edmund Burke (including, amongst others Friedrich Gentz (1764–1832) and Adam Müller (1779–1829)).91