The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald

Penelope Fitzgerald ( gives us a historical novel set in Germany at the very end of the eighteenth century.

The Blue Flower (1995) is the story of the brilliant Fritz von Hardenberg, a graduate of the Universities of Jena, Leipzig and Wittenberg. He is learned in Dialectics and Mathematics, and later became the great romantic poet and philosopher Novalis. The passionate and idealistic Fritz needs his father’s permission to announce his engagement to his ‘heart’s heart’, his ‘true Philosophy’, twelve-year-old Sophie von Kuhn. It is a betrothal which amuses, astounds and disturbs his family and friends. How can it be so?

Fitzgerald’s writing is full of delicious humour. It is economical and scenes change about swiftly. Look out, also, for her brilliantly secure lock on the quotidian – the scampering of children, washing hung out to dry and dozens of other domestic details. One of the finest writers of the twentieth century. This is most pleasant reading.

304 pages in Flamingo paperback edition.

ISBN 978-0006550198

Penelope Fitzgerald

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