There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.
(Robert Louis Stevenson, 1883)
I grew up in the beautiful town of Heidelberg in Germany and frequently return there to visit my family. At the age of 18 I left home to study German Literature and Classics at the Universities of Konstanz, Vienna, Jena and St Andrews. Scotland was my main home for many years and I enjoyed living in the county of Moray, surrounded by stunning scenery. I will eventually return, but currently live in Sydney, Australia, where I am completing my Masters in Educational Leadership at the University of New South Wales.
My main career is in the education sector, and I have been Deputy to the Head of Boarding at the Elisabeth-von-Thadden-Schule in Heidelberg; Teacher of Latin, German and Philosophy at the Swiss School Milan; Teacher of German and Classics at Gordonstoun School in Scotland; Head of the German Department and Sixth Form Tutor at Bedford High School; and Head of Sixth Form and Sixth Form Boarding (with responsibility for UCAS and Oxbridge) at Queenswood School near London. In 2013-2014 I held the position of Sixth Form Housemistress at Cheltenham Ladies' College before relocating to the wonderful city of Sydney to take up the position of Deputy Principal at Queenwood School in January 2015. In addition, I have worked as Examiner for the International Baccalaureate Organisation since 2006. I am currently Principal Examiner for the Higher Level German Literature Course and Examiner of Group 1 Extended Essays.
Writing is a great interest of mine and I try to take creative breaks from my teaching career every now and then to focus on writing projects. I have published a large number of articles in newspapers and academic journals and have contributed entries to reference works such as Walther Killy's Literaturlexikon, Kröner’s Lexikon literaturtheoretischer Werke or the Italian Enciclopedia Oraziana. I have published a study on translations from Greek into Latin in the classical period, as well as biographies on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and the women in his life and on Alma Mahler-Werfel, the wife of Gustav Mahler, Walter Gropius and Franz Werfel and muse of Oskar Kokoschka. I also try my hand at fiction occasionally. In 2013 I was shortlisted for the German Agatha-Christie-Prize and my short story Cocktail für Mr K. was published in the anthology "Eine Frage des Alibis" (ed. Cordelia Borchardt and Andreas Hoh, Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt 2013).
This is an edited version of my doctoral thesis on ancient translation theory and practice in the classical period. The study was supported by my inspirational university teacher and PhD supervisor Professor Manfred Fuhrmann and received positive reviews in newspapers and classical journals.
"Astrid Seele's book covers the Roman theory and practice of translating Greek originals; it studies theatrical and philosophical texts, didactic and lyric poetry, remarks of translators on their own method and work as well as criticisms of the results of their rivals. In addition, as might be expected from a student of Manfred Fuhrman, there are some interesting glimpses at later pertinent phenomena in the Italian Cinquecento, the French XVIIth and English XVIIIth century, the German classical period: a broad panorama, which deserves praise and attention." (Bernhard Kytzler, Scholia Reviews 5, 1996).
“Astrid Seele könnte den Dialog zwischen Alt- und Neuphilologie in Gang setzen.” (Albert von Schirnding, Süddeutsche Zeitung)
Frauen um Goethe
This is a biographical study on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and some of the women who shaped him in different periods of his life. The vita of these women is examined beyond the period in which they played a part in Goethe's life, making this into a study of typical female issues and problems in the late 18th and early 19th century. The book was originally published in 1997 and reprinted several times before being published in a revised edition in 2000 and updated again in 2010. It received positive reviews.
"Seele unterschlägt auch nicht so prägende Beziehungen wie die zu Mutter und Schwester. Der verhalten feministische Gestus und die unverstellt einfache Schreibweise machen den schmalen Band zu einer profunden Quelle für das weitergehende Interesse." (Nordkurier 22/8/1998).
The picture shows the Czech translation, published in 1998. It was rather exciting for me to see my surname in its Czech form on the cover!
This is a biography of one of Vienna's most notorious femmes fatales, first published in 2001 and reprinted several times, recently in a revised edition 2017.
Alma was married to Gustav Mahler, the composer, Walter Gropius, the architect, and Franz Werfel, the writer. She had a love affair with the painter Oskar Kokoschka and fascinated men as diverse as Gustav Klimt, Alexander von Zemlinsky, Thomas Mann, Alban Berg or Gerhart Hauptmann.
The amazon review states: "Wer diese geheimnisvolle Frau war, die es schaffte, fast die gesamte Elite der Kunstschaffenden zu Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts in ihren Bann zu ziehen, das arbeitet Astrid Seele in einem gestochen scharfen Psychogramm heraus."
The picture shows the Kindle edition published on 26 August 2016. This E-book version does not contain the pictures of the print edition.
Eine Frage des Alibis
This anthology of crime fiction contains my short story "Cocktail für Mr K.", one of the 25 shortlisted contributions to the German Agatha-Christie-Prize competition 2013.