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Book details
  • Genre:HISTORY
  • SubGenre:Europe / Germany
  • Language:English
  • Pages:262
  • Format:Paperback
  • Paperback ISBN:9781543936025

Journey Through the Island of Rügen

by Arthur Strohmeier and Johann Gruembke View author's profile page

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Overview
In 1803, during a hike through the island of Rügen in northern Germany, Johann Jacob Grümbke wrote a series of letters to his sweetheart. A noted naturalist, Grümbke paints a colorful picture of the island as it was in the 19th century, describing it in both scientific and scenic terms. Arthur Strohmeier, fascinated by this contemporary account of his family's ancestral home, translates it from German to English so that those who might otherwise not know of the island's existence can experience it for themselves.
Description
In 1803, during a hike through the island of Rügen in northern Germany, Johann Jacob Grümbke wrote a series of letters to his sweetheart. A noted naturalist, Grümbke paints a colorful picture of the island as it was in the 19th century, describing it in both scientific and scenic terms. Arthur Strohmeier, fascinated by this contemporary account of his family's ancestral home, translates it from German to English so that those who might otherwise not know of the island's existence can experience it for themselves. Grümbke's tour begins in the coastal town of Stralsund, where he studies the characteristics of a typical islander, the history, and the circumstances under a life of serfdom. As he traverses the area, he reveals to the reader both the natural, water-borne beauty of the coastline, the daily lives of the members of the religious Mönchguter community, and the peculiarities of the fisher-folk of the island of Hiddensee. Exploring both Grümbke's original text and the updates made to it by Albert Burkhardt, including the addition of Grümbke's artwork, Strohmeier's skillful translation of the text reveals not only an interest in the factual existence of Rügen, but a deep emotional and spiritual connection to a community and a homeland from which he was borne.
About the author

In early 2000, while taking Deutsche classes at a local Gernan-American Club, I was looking for something to translate. A distant relative in Germany had sent me Albert Burkhardt's publication of Johann Jacob Grumbke's publication of his letters, entitled 'Streifzuge durch das Rügenland,' which described the conditions and environment in the Island of Rügen, our ancestral homeland, during the time of our ancestors. This seemed to be a book that would hold my interest. Further, without this underlying motivation, to determine how our ancestors lived, it is unlikely that I would have completed a work of this magnitude, given my limited knowledge of the German Language. In 2004, I began the translation,and substantially completed it in 2006. Generally, I have refrained from modifying the translation, except in the cases where it was problematic. ) hopefully, few of these difficult sections remain. Where they do remain, I take full responsibility for any inaccuracy; I am also indebted to Trudy Maldonado for the use of her 1851 German-English Dictionary, without which this translation would have been seriously flawed and incomplete.

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