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Marianne Weber (1870–1954)

Author of Max Weber: A Biography

Includes the names: Weber Marianne

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Short biography
Marianne Weber, née Schnitger, was born in Oerlinghausen, Germany, the daughter of a physician and his wife. She was raised by her grandmother and aunt following the death of her mother when she was a small child. At age 16, she was sent to fashionable finishing schools in Lemgo and Hanover, from which she graduated at 19. In 1891, she began to spend time with her Berlin cousins, the Weber family, and she married Max Weber in 1893. She pursued her own studies while her husband taught first in Berlin, then at the University of Heidelberg. She also became active in the women's movement, attended political meetings, and published her first book, Fichtes Sozialismus und sein Verhältnis zur Marxschen Doktrin (Fichte's Socialism and its Relation to Marxist Doctrine) in 1900. In 1904, the Webers toured the USA, where Marianne met Jane Addams and Florence Kelley. Recovering from a nervous breakdown, her husband re-entered the public sphere, writing and publishing The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Marianne publishing her own landmark work, Hefrau und Mutter in der Rechtsentwicklung (Marriage, Motherhood and the Law) in 1907. On returning to Germany, she established an intellectual salon. In rapid succession, she produced The Question of Divorce (1909), Authority and Autonomy in Marriage and On the Valuation of Housework (1912), Women and Objective Culture (1913), The New Woman and The Ideal of Marriage (1914), War as an Ethical Problem (1916), Changing Types of University Women (1917), The Forces Shaping Sexual Life and Women's Special Cultural Tasks (both 1919). In 1918, she became the first woman delegate elected to the federal state parliament of Baden. In 1920, Max Weber's sister committed suicide, and the Webers adopted her four children. Very soon after, Max Weber contacted pneumonia and died, leaving Marianne a widow with four children to raise. She spent the next few years editing and preparing 10 volumes of her late husband's writing for publication, and also wrote his biography, Max Weber: Ein Lebensbild (Max Weber: A Biography), published in 1926. She re-established her weekly salon, and began speaking in public on feminist issues; this was curtailed under the Nazi regime. She continued to write during this time and published Frauen und Liebe (Women and Love) in 1935, and Erfülltes Leben (The Fulfilled Life) in 1942.
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