“Today, I cannot work for my happy heart is sunning itself in the sweet memories of our intimate exchanges.”

In 1898 a young aristocratic woman wrote to a famous professor, a biologist, naturalist and philosopher, asking for help with her studies in natural sciences. Her plea began an unusual, clandestine love affair carried out through words and emotionally-charged meetings.

Available in English for the first time, the touching and heart-warming correspondence between Franziska and Paul Kämpfer relates the story of one of the world’s most beautifully tender, unknown love affairs. Prevented from marrying by the societal restrictions of the age and their devotion to duty, the atheistic professor, a fierce Darwinian, and the aristocratic young woman, disregarded outward disapproval and the acidity of their own consciences, and yielded to the longing for affection. Their path to each other was strewn with emotional and physical obstacles, yet they refused to give in. 

Franziska is a book overflowing with humanity, love, disappointment and laughter. It renews our faith in the ability of men and women to at least aim at being the best they can be.

 In that sense it is a vital story for today.


Additional information


Michael A. O'Neill


E-book, Paperback


Johannes Werner


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