The overwhelming triumph of Agnes Günter’s German novel
"Die Heilige und ihr Narr"
is a tale in itself.
In the whirlwind time we live in, bestsellers are often short-lived. This was not the result of the German success novel "Die Heilige und Ihr Narr", which can still be purchased today in the 145th edition. It was the only novel by Agnes Günther, published two years after her death. Her inspiration came from her surroundings; descriptions of the castle locations in the book were within her reach and she often wandered the paths written in the book. Though the story is well-known as trivial literature, it captures the emotional mystic of perpetual love; a sentiment that is now often regarded as a fairy tale.
The first edition was released in May of 1913 and the book quickly conquered the hearts of the public. The mainly female reading audience in postwar Germany was captivated by the story of Princess Rosemarie, a tenderhearted young woman with an infinite force of mystical spirit, and her unwavering love for the handsome but impoverished “Earl of Ruins”, Harro von Thorstein. The novel reached sensational sales figures from the beginning. The number of printed copies in German exceeded the million mark, as was the story filmed three times in 1928, 1935 and 1957 and has been translated into eleven other languages, but never into English.
After three generations, this task has been taken on by the author Adelheid Cihlar (born in Montreal, Canada) and translator Sabine Egeler (born amidst in locations in the book, in Crailsheim, Hohenlohe).
Our wish is to make this extraordinary text accessible in English, for lovers of fine literature. Step with us into the “old-world” of royalty, treachery and forgiveness, and -above all- the passion of undying love.
Slip under the mystical Veil of Gisela with us.
On a magical Christmas Eve, the impoverished Count Harro von Thorstein finds the young Princess Rosemarie wandering alone through the forest. She has come from Castle Brauneck, fleeing from her golden cage, in search of the love she desires and needs. Sensing a lost soul, much as himself, Harro gains the trust of this angelic child. Harro is a lonely man, who lives as an artist with his faithful servant in the dark ruins of his castle, but light comes into his world as he finds his little “Saint Rose”.
A mystical bond of true love emerges, which holds them captive throughout their further lives.
After years of separation, Count Harro finds his “Saint” again and they blissfully unite in matrimony. But the dark forces of fate cast ominous shadows over their fragile happiness. Yet the young woman is granted with celestial strength, experiencing divine love and devotion to her belief. Her strong faith helps her to silently tolerate the cruelty of her step-mother and bestows her with an extraordinary capacity for forgiveness; pure, unselfish love gives her the power to endure pain and console others, in spite of her own suffering. With sacred compassion, she overcomes anguish and is lifted up to the hallowed purity of a saint.
The Saint and her Fool A mystical tale of boundless love
Translated from the original version by Adelheid Cihlar and Sabine Egeler