The life of Courage: the notorious thief, whore, and vagabond

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Dedalus, May 2, 2001 - Fiction - 175 pages
2 Reviews
The Life of Courage (first published in 1670), one episode from whose life Brecht used as the basis for his Mother Courage, is the female counterpart to Simplicissimus. A young girl caught up in the turmoil of the Thirty Years War, she survives, even prospers, by the use of her native cunning and sexual attraction. Completely amoral, she flits from man to man, having a succession of husbands and lovers, and ends her life with a band of gypsies.
Courage supposedly tells her story to get her own back on Simplicissimus, who treats her rather dismissively in his memoirs. Her method is to reveal the truth about herself, including the fact that she was recovering from the pox at the time of their affair, so that he will be tarred with the same brush. The result is a lively account of lechery, knavery and trickery told with disarming frankness and a complete lack of remorse.

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Review: Life of Courage

User Review  - night music -- bring on the clowns ♫ - Goodreads

15.4B Bloodstone > Courage (meaning) Read full review

Review: Life of Courage

User Review  - William J. Shep - Goodreads

Like Grimmelshausen's other works, this is a tour de force of 17th century debauchery and survival amidst war and political turmoil. The excellent English translation if of course a major factor in making this such a delicious reading experience. Read full review


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About the author (2001)

grimmelshausen's life was dominated by the thirty years' war (1618-1648) in which he fought for both sides until its end.

Mike Mitchell is a well-regarded translator from German with a special interest in Austrian literature. He previously taught German at Stirling University. His translations for Dedalus include five novels by Gustav Meyrink, among others. His translation of Herbert Rosendorfer's Letters Back to Ancient China won the Shlegal-Tieck German Translation Prize. He lives in Scotland.

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