Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Undine” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué
Rate this book
Clear rating


3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  568 ratings  ·  67 reviews
Undine is a novel by Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué concerning Undine, a water spirit who marries a Knight named Huldebrand in order to gain a soul. It is an early German romance, which has been translated into English and other languages. The novel served as inspiration for two operas in the romantic style by Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann and Albert Lortzing, respectively, ...more
Nook, 0 pages
Published by London : W. Heinemann ; New York : Doubleday, Page & co. (first published 1811)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Undine, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Undine

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,274)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Read free Gutenberg Project ePub file on iPhone with sleeping newborn sprite (she was living in an aquatic environment just a few days ago) on chest or nearby. Read it thanks to an encouraging mention in Lovecraft's Supernatural Horror in Literature. It's a long fairy tale in form and tone, a supernatural love triangle involving the coolest secondary character I've seen in a while: an impish uncle who's half-man/half-brook. As H.P. states, early on it nicely evokes the unknown, particularly in t ...more
★ ßurçακ ★
Çok güzel bir hikayeydi etkiledi beni bayağı :)
Bir gün bir balıkçı adam ve karısının kız bebekleri göl kenarında kaybolur ve akşama 3-4 yaşlarında çok güzel, sarışın bir kız üzerinden sular damlayarak kapılarında belirir ve bu aile kızı manevi çocukları olarak kabul ederler. İlerleyen yıllarda bir şovalyenin yolu bu ailenin yanına düşer ve görür görmez kızımız Undine'ye aşık olur ve onla evlenmek ister. Undine ise kendisi hakkındaki gerçeği anlatır adam onu kabul ederse evet demeye razı olur. U
I heard this described as a true fairytale. Intrigued, I read it and was not disappointed. A tragic tale of an elemental who seeks to gain a soul through unconditional love and marriage to a human. ( A handsome Knight of course) This book caters to all aspects of a true fairytale; a subtle yet revealing moral, magic and mystery, and of course, love and betrayal. My heart continuously went out to the beautiful "water-spirit" who so desperately wanted a soul, a better inner life and to the Knight, ...more

So this is the tale that launched a thousand mermaid stories.
If you can launch a mermaid story, that is.
Now, it is an old story – you know before women were considered fully fledged members of the human race and stuff.
In some ways, it is rather sympathetic to the two women – one a water spirit, the other a human woman – both of whom love the same man – who is a wishy washy jerk.
It is the human woman who elicits more reaction and sympathy. Her life is turned upside down and she is condemned
Lacey Louwagie
Even though I just finished this book yesterday, I feel the need to write my review quickly because it's a story that seems to slide out of my mind; when I would walk away from it and come back, it often took me a moment to reorient myself to this strange little story. Perhaps such slipperiness is appropriate for a story about a volatile water creature, but everything just felt so wishy-washy to me that I had trouble finding much to hold onto. Undine was a spoiled child or an angelic woman. The ...more

Bende blog macerasına atıldım :D
bu yorumu aynı zamanda blogumda da bulabilirsiniz
Can yayınlarının geçtiğimiz yıl yayınlamaya başladığı gotik-romantik serisine başlayabildim sonunda, ve ilk olarak seçimimi J.R.R Tolkien'in Yüzüklerin Efendisi'ne esin kaynağı olan Der Zauberring'in (sihirli yüzük) yazarı FRIEDRICH DE LA MOTTE FOUQUÉ'un 1809 yılında yazdığı Undine oldu.
Gerçekten güzel bir öyküydü. Beni etkiledi diyebilirim. Günümüzde özellikle maddi amaçlı adı gotik eserlerin yanında ilaç gibi ge
My wonderful, awesome boyfriend got me a copy of this book from 1909, illustrated by Arthur Rackham, for Christmas. It's become one of my most prized possessions. It is beautifully written (or translated, I suppose I should say) and of course, stunningly illustrated. I consider it a masterful example of the literary fairytale.

I like the story of Undine better than Hans Christian Anderson's "The Little Mermaid" for a number of reasons, though it features with very similar plot elements and theme
Das kommt davon, wenn gleich sich nicht zu gleich gesellt, wenn Mensch und Meerfräulein ein wunderliches Bündnis schließen
Die Liebe überschreitet alle Grenzen - der reiche Ritter Huldbrand, Schlossbesitzer, lernt auf einem unfreiwilligen Zwischenstop das arme Fischermädchen Undine kennen, und entbrennt sofort in Liebe zu ihr. Wenn es doch die einzige Grenzüberschreitung wäre...

"Undine" ist eine recht gelungene Mischung aus klassischer Gothic Novel und Hauffs Märchen - mal fühlt man sich ins Schl

This is the original fairy tale Noir, which inspired all the rest: ballet, opera, Giroudoux' ONDINE and Osborne's HAUNTED WATERS. This novella examines the spiritual question of the Soul--that elusive qualify in which mankind trusts. Can it be other than God-given? Can it be acquired through marriage or noble deeds, bartered or even sold outright? Does the possession of a soul make one's life easier or more difficult, one's moral decisions clearer or more complex?
Isa Lavinia
Undine Okay, I feel like one of those people who go, "omg, the Glee cover was WAY better than the original", but...

I read Jean Giraudoux's Ondine when I was a child, and re-read it a thousand times since, plus I watched the wonderful comédie-française production, starring a young Isabelle Adjani, so it's fair to say I'm a little bit obsessed with Giraudoux's take on the story.

I guess since that story is practically set in stone in my mind, when I got to the original by Motte Fouqué, every page o
I'm just fascinated by the 'elemental creatures without souls' theme in folk and fairy tales, and so I adored this. Beautifully written if a bit weak in plot. The descriptions of Kuhleborn were particularly memorable, and he was probably the most fascinating character of the story, although I liked Undine in the beginning also. This work has a lot to say, quite unintentionally, about gender and marriage. Easily comparable with HCA's The Little Mermaid.
Rachel Heffington
I have had very little experience reading fairytales outside of the famous Grimms' or Hans Christian Anderson, so this foray into Undine was quite new. In fact, I came to the story only because of an allusion to it in Lousia May Alcott's LITTLE WOMEN. I enjoyed this emotional telling of the marriage between mortal knight Huldebrande and water-spirit Undine. It was a dramatic, romantic, and somewhat illogical story (how many times can one be fooled by the water spirit's uncle before recognizing h ...more
I heard about this book in a passing mention in a history of 'The Little Mermaid' story, and ordered it mainly because I was at the time suffering an uncontrollable fairytale obession. I am extremely glad I did. It was a pleasure to read, easily the finest varient on (or rather, predecessor of)'The Little Mermaid'I have yet read.
'Undine' is pastoral, strange, romantic, tragic and an extremely quick read into the bargin. It is a little to long and in depth to be a fairytale, and a little to short
Great story. Old fashion fairy tale, a bit creepy -- but one needs to read these tales.
εlﻨբ ツ
Eski masalları sevenler beğenir. Hoş bir kitaptı.Undine`nin bir insanı sevip ruha kavuşması ve sonra gelişen olaylarla da sevdiğinden ayrılması anlatılıyor. Tabi bu özet hali. hüzünlü bir hikaye.:{
George MacDonald said that if you want to know what a fairy tale is, read Undine.
What a strange little story. I ordered a copy of the book because I'm interested in the Ashton ballet Ondine, which is loosely based on it. (A DVD of the ballet will be available in the US in May, although it's not the old recording of Margot Fonteyn that I'm dying to see based on this clip.)

I'm glad I started with the written version of the story. It's a fairy tale, and the characterization lacks detail and sometimes feels inconsistent. Still, I like Undine a lot, especially at the beginning wh
I learned of "Undine" from "Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott because Jo was saying she wanted to buy this book.

Aside from "Anne of Green Gables", this book is the only book that I have read again and again (and again). I'll admit, the first time I read the book there was a lot I didn't understand especially the poem at the beginning but when I read it for the second time, I just came to love it! And after reading the book for the second time then reading the poem then, suddenly it all made sen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mark Dewey
After playing the SNES game, The Secret of Mana as a kid, it's not surprising that I wanted to read this book and find out more about Undine. So, I listened to it. I wanted to do a different translation, but this was the only one they had on audio, and I'm doing too much creative writing and hymn engraving these days to bother reading it just yet. However, I ended up liking this translation after all, knowing what the story is like.

Anyway, the book reads more like a classic than a fairy tale (al
I heard about Undine in the book Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, who ruined the ending by the way. Anyway, the mention of a mermaid in either the book or the description of Undine, tickled my daughter's fancy and we decided to read it. So it's an 1811 novella written by a German Romantic. Who cares? I was impressed she actually wanted to read it.

Wow Nellie! The entire book readeth like this. It's in Old English. Nathless (actually a word), we read the entire thing. I had to look up words quite
Der Ritter Huldbrand von Ringstettet muss, um einen Handschuh als Liebespfand seiner angebeteten Bertalda, der Pflegetochter des Herzogs, einen Wald durchqueren, in dem es Spuken soll und Bertalda anschießend berichten, welchen Wesen er begegnet ist. Am Ende des Waldes, kurz bevor die Nacht einbricht, kommt Huldbrand an einen Landspitze auf der ein altes Fischerpaar mit ihrer Findeltochter Undine lebt. Die Achtzehnjährige Undine ist eine Schönheit und ein wahrer Wildfang, sie verzaubert Huldbran ...more
I liked this quite a lot, even though it was very sad and the characters just kept making choices that were clearly not the best ones. Huldbrand especially, I just couldn't figure out why they let Bertalda come with them, after that tantrum she threw. What were they thinking? From there... well, really they only had themselves to blame. Again, though, where normally I would despise a book full of such characters who make such choices, Undine won me over. A tragic little tale.
Undine is a beautiful and extremely affecting fairy tale. It is of that peculiar German Romantic style, and I could see the similarity to the tales of E.T.A. Hoffman (who later composed an opera of the story). Undine, however, is strong where some other tales of this historical genre lack: the characters are sympathetic and human, and there is only one incident of forehead-smack-inducing outdated cultural institutions (Bertalda's reaction when she discovers who her parents are). Thus its tragedy ...more
Eric Juneau
Sadly, the mermaids here are far and few between, like most mermaid stories I read. She's a human for about all of the book. She's some sort of orphaned water-nymph taken in by parents, and she never betrays a non-human nature. She marries a wandering knight, and then there's some strife and betrayal. To be honest, I tuned out the last quarter of the book once I realized the mermaids were not happening.

The nice thing about it was that it was classic romance genre, so there was nothing complex ab
When I was reading a summary of this tale, I was struck by its closeness to Melusine. Then, the Little Mermaid too. Of course, as all those tales are related in some ways, they do have similarities and differences.

Undine is a soulless water-spirit, but she was given one through the love of her husband Huldbrand. This caused her to change from the most wayward character one can think of, to the gentlest person.

Undine's character transformation is contrasted with Bertalda, the former love-interest
"Okay husband, I'm going to ask you not to do a certain thing to make sure we don't all end up sad and lonely."
Husband: "Of course wife, I will forever remember my promise not to do that thing!"
Husband: ...
Husband: .......
Husband: *does the thing

I do love me some fairy tales :)
Enchanteur. Ce conte m'a rappelé ceux d'Andersen que j'avais beaucoup apprécié, notamment pour leur ambiance nordique et leur tristesse. Il se rapproche particulièrement de celui de la petite sirène. Ici, c'est une ondine, un être des eaux, que Friedrich de La Motte-Fouqué met en scène avec un beau chevalier. Mais un être de la terre et un être de l'eau ne peuvent s'unir l'un à l'autre sans problèmes: les familles ont chacune des règles bien particulières qui ne sont pas forcément celles de l'au ...more
Monica Davis
I'd give this 3.5 stars...not a page-turner, but one of those stories that I will sit with and think about for a few days while it all falls into place. A bit eerie at times (almost disturbing), but a very interesting read. Quite an imaginative tale, creatively written, and very much in the style used by Hans Christian Andersen.
David Contreras
Read this in a single afternoon and can't say I'm disappointed. I wasn't completely enraptured either, but the book was short enough, and the deliberate Romanticism sometimes hit a core and/or wildly enchanted me with lines like, Merry were our lives and free, for the sorrows of mortals came not near to us. We had no soul, the gift God gives to every mortal, and without a soul no pain could enter into our lives. Honestly, I think it reads better as a book with enormous, universal ideas, a fable ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 42 43 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Into the Forest: Undine - No Spoilers 18 23 Aug 09, 2014 12:40PM  
Into the Forest: Undine - Spoilers 8 18 Aug 08, 2014 07:07AM  
  • Peter Schlemihls wundersame Geschichte
  • Henry von Ofterdingen
  • The Ghost-seer
  • Der goldne Topf
  • Aphrodite
  • Fairy Tales Of Wilhelm Hauff
  • Immensee
  • Die Marquise von O...
  • The Devil In Love
  • The Charwoman's Shadow
  • Hyperion oder der Eremit in Griechenland
  • Men Who Wish to Drown
  • Wet Magic
  • Der blonde Eckbert / Der Runenberg
  • Lilith
  • The Well at the World's End
  • The Trials and Tribulations of Little Red Riding Hood
  • Tales Before Tolkien: The Roots of Modern Fantasy
Friedrich Heinrich Karl de la Motte, Baron Fouqué (12 February 1777 – 23 January 1843) was a German writer of the romantic style.

He was born at Brandenburg an der Havel, of a family of French Huguenot origin, as evidenced in his family name. His grandfather, Heinrich August de la Motte Fouqué, had been one of Frederick the Great's generals and his father was a Prussian officer. Although not origin
More about Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué...
The Magic Ring Cuentos fantásticos del romanticismo alemán Aslauga's Knight Sintram and His Companions and Aslauga's Knight Sintram and His Companions

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“You must know, my loved one, that there are beings in the elements which almost appear like mortals, and which rarely allow themselves to become visible to your race. Wonderful salamanders glitter and sport in the flames; lean and malicious gnomes dwell deep within the earth; spirits, belonging to the air, wander through the forests; and a vast family of water spirits live in the lakes and streams and brooks. In resounding domes of crystal, through which the sky looks in with its sun and stars, these latter spirits find their beautiful abode; lofty trees of coral with blue and crimson fruits gleam in their gardens; they wander over the pure sand of the sea, and among lovely variegated shells, and amid all exquisite treasures of the old world, which the present is no longer worthy to enjoy; all these the floods have covered with their secret veils of silver, and the noble monuments sparkle below, stately and solemn, and bedewed by the loving waters which allure from them many a beautiful moss-flower and entwining cluster of sea grass. Those, however, who dwell there, are very fair and lovely to behold, and for the most part, are more beautiful than human beings. Many a fisherman has been so fortunate as to surprise some tender mermaid, as she rose above the waters and sang. He would then tell afar of her beauty, and such wonderful beings have been given the name of Undines. You, however, are now actually beholding an Undine.” 4 likes
More quotes…