JULY 25: Marie von Najmajer (1844-1907)


On this day in 1904, the Hungarian author and activist Marie
von Najmajer passed away.

One of Marie’s personal journals shows first drafts of many of her poems (x). 

Marie was born in Buda, Hungary on February 3, 1844. Her
father was the Hungarian royal hofrat Franz von Najmájer and, in recent years, she
has been labeled a “Bourgeois feminist” for her wealthy background. When she
was 8-years-old, Marie and her mother left Hungary and moved to Vienna where
Marie would grow up and eventually become a prominent figure in the Austrian
women’s rights movement.

As a young woman, Marie started working for the Association
for Women’s Education in Vienna. She famously partnered up with fellow activist
Marie Hainisch and the two focused on women’s access to higher education in
Austrian universities. Marie was also a writer and published over 11 novels and
books of poetry during her lifetime. It was well-known in feminist spaces of
the day that Marie had relationships with women and in one of her later pieces she
revealed that “tender woman love is my life’s most beautiful content” and that
she wished the “daughters of the twentieth century” would have the chance to
experience it for themselves.

Marie passed away on July 25, 1904 at the age of 60. She was
buried in Hietzing, Vienna and her funeral was a day of city-wide grief with members
of the Society for Women Artists and Women Writers, the Austrian Society for
Teachers, and the Society for Higher Education of Women all in attendance.