BIAAS Austro-Americana Blog Series
Former BIAAS grant recipient, Nadine Zimmerli, writes 2 blogs for BIAAS. Nadine Zimmerli is the editor for history and social sciences at the University of Virginia Press. She trained as a modern European historian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she earned her Ph.D. in 2011. At present, she is completing a book manuscript tentatively titled “Cheaper than Paris: American Dresden before World War I.”
A “solitary supper… and a glass of Hungary wine”: American Impressions of Central Europe in the Early Nineteenth Century
In mid-November of 1822, Washington Irving sat down to “a solitary supper… and a glass of Hungary wine” in Vienna. Irving—America’s first bestselling author of international fame—traversed much of Central Europe in the early 1820s, and he’s a good reminder that early Americans explored Europe beyond the better known destinations of Britain, France, and Italy. To learn more, visit the BIAAS website.
An Unexpected Encounter between a Silesian Weaver and a (future) American President
Despite the bad working conditions and the growing popularity of labor Today I would like to recount John Quincy Adams’s visit to a Silesian weaver’s home in 1800 to share the delightful and unexpected insights that historical research into European-American connections can bring. My book project reconstructs the American community in Dresden, Germany, from the late 1700s to World War I, and Adams, later to become the sixth president of the United States, was among the first U.S. Americans to travel extensively in Central Europe. Through his publications, he was certainly the most prominent early American to familiarize audiences at home with the region’s more remote parts. Even though I first read his famous travel account Letters on Silesia with an eye toward his impressions of Dresden only, I was soon struck by the myriad rich details conveyed in its pages. To learn more, visit the BIAAS website.