Reveries at French Firesides ~ Traeumereien an franzoesischen Kaminen
by Richard von Volkmann-Leander
Charles L. Cingolani
Richard von Volkmann-Leander, The Poet
His wide popular recognition came through an unpretentious entrance into the field of imaginative literature by the production of his fairy tales, Reveries at French Firesides. The history of the work is sufficiently given in his preface above. When it was disclosed that the unknown "Leander" of the Reveries was the famous physician, Volkmann's name became as familiar in the home as it already was in narrower professional circles, and the Reveries at once took their place in the great treasury of child literature in which Germany so happily excels. The book, like Volkmann's professional works, passed through edition after edition in Germany, and has followed the same course in the English-speaking countries, where it has established itself as a valuable element in German instruction.
The stories are marked by simplicity of thought and style, sympathy with the child mind, and a warm human touch. Some of them are representative of a typically familiar, but never disrespectful, German treatment of themes toward which the English and American mind maintains a more reserved attitude. But always the point of view is naif and the conception concrete and picturesque, like the workings of the youthful mind.
While its matter places the work in the ranks of pure literature, its style is full of colloquial and homely turns, upon which an adequate appreciation of the story largely depends. Volkmann wrote the stories for his own children but they are best received by a mature reader who understands the deeper problems the stories contain.
Richard von Volkmann, The Medical Doctor
He was born in Leipzig August 17, 1830, and died in Jena November 28, 1889. He is counted among the outstanding surgeons of the 19th century. Early on he devoted himself to the study of medicine and in 1867 became professor of surgery in the University of Halle. There he had a brilliant career as teacher, investigator, and practicing surgeon, and soon was ranked among the leading medical authorities of Germany. His published medical treatises were highly respected in Germany. In his university work and as surgeon-general during the Franco-Prussian War he did much to advance the knowledge of antiseptic surgery and to improve the ways that operations were carried out in military hospitals and on the battlefield.
Traeumereien R. Arrowsworth American Book Co. New York, Cincinnati, Chicago 1915