I received this email from Lionel Gossman of Princeton University enquiring about - well, you can see for yourself. If anyone has any info, please post it on the Forum.
I have become interested in an Austrian writer by the name of Hermynia Zur Mühlen who translated a number of works by her “much adored " Jerome K. Jerome into German (All Roads lead to Calvary, Anthony John, They and I, Malvina of Brittany, "Der Nebel steigt: autobioraphischer Roman" [probably Paul Klever ). HZM was born into high Austrian nobility but broke with her family and her Prussian Junker husband to become a communist around 1919. She left the German CP in the early thirties but remained a convinced socialist and anti-Nazi, fled to Czechoslovakia at the time of the Anschluss and then in 1939 to England, where she died in 1951 [note by JN - in Radlett, Hertfordshire]. She also wrote a number of novels and hundreds of short stories and sketches of her own. (She earned her living by writing and translating.) Three short anti-war essays by JKJ that appeared in German translation in the Left-leaning review Die Weltbuehne ("Voelkerbund," "Der Kampfinstinkt," "Die Rechnung") conclude with the notice "sole authorized translation from the English by Hermynia zur Mühlen." None of the books on JKJ that I have consulted have anything to say about his reception in other countries or about translations of his work. My question is: do you know of any correspondence between JKJ and HZM, or do you know how she might have become the "sole authorized translator" of the works I mentioned? HZM was also the sole authorized translator of Upton Sinclair into German. She translated most of Sinclair's novels, plays and essays and made some of the novels into bestsellers. She also seems to have served as Sinclair's literary agent in Germany. There is a considerable correspondence between Zur Mühlen and Sinclair (recently published) and I am wondering whether there might be similar written evidence of a direct connection between Zur Mühlen and JKJ, with whom, artistically and temperamentally, she had much more in common than with Sinclair.