Early Anglophone Nibelungenlied reception was dominated by male writers. This changed in 1877, when Aubertine Woodward Moore published a paraphrase for ‘American lovers of romance and chivalry’ under the pseudonym Auber Forestier. Three years later Lydia Hands produced her adaptation of ‘a story popular amongst our Teutonic cousins’ for younger readers. The 1890s saw Margaret Armour’s illustrated prose translation of ‘this rude epic’, ‘locked up in its Gothic strong-house’, and Alice Horton’s verse translation, with Thomas Carlyle’s essay (of 1831) as an introduction. In 1905 Gertrude Schottenfels published another child-friendly version in her Stories of the Nibelungen for Young People.
This paper examines the treatment of Kriemhild’s violence in British and American women’s adaptations of the Nibelungenlied in the latter part of the long nineteenth century. This treatment ranges from concerted attempts at fidelity to the poem’s form and content, to additional vilification of Kriemhild, to efforts to excuse, minimise, or obscure her violent actions.