Poems Without Frontiers

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Elisabethe Emma Luise Büchner (1821 - 1877)

Luise was born in Darmstadt as one of six children in a family whose father was a surgeon. She suffered a spinal injury as a child and lived with the consequent curvature throughout her life. After her parents death, she lived with her sister Mathilde and her brother, Ludwig, having absorbed literature, mythology, history and languages as a child.

She became an advocate of women's rights publishing 'Die Frauen und ihr Beruf' in 1855. She followed with novels, travelogues, and poetry.

From 1866, she became a close confederate of Grand Duchess Alice of Hesse und bei Rhein. They collaborated in creating schools of nursing for young women, and several institutes for female education including a technical college and high school. She was formative in the women's movement and became a prominent advocate of education for girls and women as well as for recognition of their importance within the male orientated society of the time.

Despite her childhood injury, Luise experienced a life of activity in social and artistic pursuits. Several of her poems appear in her collection, Frauenherz, first published in 1862.