Theodor Fontane was born in the Prussian province of Brandenburg in 1819. After qualifying as a pharmacist, he made his living as a writer. From 1855 to 1859, he lived in London and worked as a freelance journalist and press agent for the Prussian embassy. While working as a war correspondent during the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1 he was taken prisoner, but released after two months. His first novel, Before the Storm, was published when he was fifty-eight and was followed by sixteen further novels, of which Effi Briest, No Way Back and On Tangled Paths are all published in Penguin Classics. He died in 1898. Peter James Bowman completed a PhD on Fontane at Cambridge University, and now works as a writer and translator. His biography of Hermann von Puckler-Muskau, The Fortune Hunter: A German Prince in Regency England was published in 2010.
On Tangled Paths has the flawless logic and beautiful design of the novella at its best -- Paul Binding * The Spectator * There is an undertow of sadness to this novel, yet to read it is a joy, for its humanity, subtlety and visual immediacy -- Ruth Pavey * The Independent * Theodor Fontane's first true masterpiece; it has a perfect beginning, a perfect ending, and no superfluous sentence in between -- Henry Garland A tender and wistful love story... [Peter James Bowman's] translation is excellent -- Martin Swales * Translation and Literature *