Eduard

Eduard
An 1863 rendition of Eduard by Friedrich Pecht and Arthur von Ramberg. [1]
In Elective Affinities, Eduard (R.J. Hollingdale, 1971; David Constantine, 1994 translations), or Edward (Hjalmar Boyesen, 1885; H.M Waidson 1960 translations), is the central character of the novel, is a wealthy baron reacting in a sort of dull-drum existence on his vast country estate, near to a local town, married to Charlotte, his love from earlier years, to whom he was unable to marry at the time as they were each formerly in arraigned marriages of circumstance or necessity.

Background
The character Eduard is Goethe himself contemplating in his mind the running of a “what could have been situation” following the 1793 passing of Baron Gottlob von Stein (1735-1793), the husband of Charlotte von Stein (1742-1827), his longtime love interest (since 1774-75 when he came to Weimar), which thus frees Charlotte von Stein, then age 51, from her 29-year arranged marriage of necessity, and thus giving opportunity for Goethe's previous decade-long quest to wed or acquire Charlotte as his own, to see the light of day. The scenario of this possibility plays out in the novel, written at a time, 1808, when Goethe was 59 and Charlotte was 66, each on friendly, albeit mending a past broken relationship terms.

References
1. Pecht, Friedrich, and Ramberg, Arthur. (1870). Goethe Gallery: Containing Characters from Goethe’s Works, drawn by Friederick Pecht and Arthur von Ramberg, fifty illustrations engraved on steel, with descriptive text by Frederick Pecht (The Councillor’s Lady Goethe, pgs. 24-29; Corneila Goethe, 32-35; Elective Affinities, pgs. 289-306). Appleton & Co.

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