Translated by A.M. Holt
The story of young Henry, who struggles to fulfil his ambitions to become a successful painter and is torn between the gentle Anna and the proud and sensual Judith, is one of the most outstanding and personal Bildungsroman written in the German language.
Written between 1846 and 1855, Keller’s poetic, semi-autobiographical novel draws on the author’s own youth, artistic studies and development as a man, as well as providing a comprehensive portrait of his country and his times. Green Henry is one of the most important novels in European literature, and undoubtedly the greatest masterpiece of fiction by a Swiss writer.
Reaching the height of his fame for the semi-autobiographical novel Green Henry, Gottfried Keller (1819–90) is widely considered to be one of the greatest Swiss-German writers.