Adalbert Stifter

Rock Crystal - With colour illustrations by Gerda Reidt

(German title: Bergkristall)
ca. 101 pages
Adalbert Stifter

Adalbert Stifter

Adalbert Stifter was born in Oberplan in the Bohemian Forest on October 23, 1805. From 1826 to 1830 he studied in Vienna, first law then mathematics, natural sciences and history. After graduating he initially worked as a private tutor for the Viennese aristocracy, including the Prince of Metternich. In 1837 he married Amalie Mohaupt. He was acquainted with Franz Grillparzer and Nikolaus Lenau. In 1848 he moved to Linz where he first became school inspector and supervisor of elementary schools for Upper Austria and in 1850 received the title Hofrat. Adalbert Stifter died in Linz on January 28, 1868.

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Text by Adalbert Stifter in the public domain, illustration rights available


Sanna and Konrad, the children of a cobbler, set out on the morning of December 24th to bring Christmas presents to their grandparents in the neighbouring mountain village. The grandmother urges them to leave early enough to reach their home before nightfall. But a heavy snowfall sets in and Sanna and Konrad get lost in the high mountain ranges. An extensive search begins … For the first time, Adalbert Stifter’s story Rock Crystal has been illustrated by Gerda Raidt for the Insel-Bücherei.


»People have often emphasised the contradiction between Stifter’s bloody-suicidal end and the noble meekness of his writing. It has less often been observed that a tendency towards the excessive, elementally catastrophic, pathologic operates behind the quiet, earnest precision of his observations of nature in particular.« Thomas Mann