Around 1800, literary and gender discourses intersected in novel conceptualisations of friendship. Departing from a discussion of the possibility of female friendship, this paper offers a reading of Sophie von La Roche’s epistolary friendship with Julie Bondeli as it is presented in her late work Mein Schreibetisch (1799). This literary friendship, I argue, is offered as a model of female friendship that invites emulation. It thereby becomes an implicit – and only retrospectively reconstructable – beginning of a tradition of female literary friendship and authorship.
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