A companion volume to Letzte Chancen, this edition will introduce readers to two virtually unknown tragedies by Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach: Maria Stuart in Schottland. Historische Tragödie; and Marie Roland. Trauerspiel in fünf Aufzügen.
Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach is now famous for her novels, aphorisms, novellas, and diary writing. Ebner-Eschenbach, however, saw herself as a playwright, wrote exclusively dramas during the first 30 years of her literary career, and was extremely ambitious; in her own words, she was aiming to become 'the Shakespeare of the nineteenth century.' She authored twenty-six plays, which were reviewed contemptuously by her contemporaries and ignored by posterity. None of the eight 'complete' editions of Ebner-Eschenbach's works includes a single full-length play by the author. The reasons for this are rooted partly in the contemporary gendered vision of drama as a genre: in the wake of Goethe and Schiller, who also furnished Ebner's dramatic inspiration, drama (particularly tragedy) had come to be considered the 'highest' literary genre and therefore one that was inaccessible to women.