Monument for Johanna Kinkel (1810-58). Brookwood Cemetery, Cemetery Pales, Brookwood, Woking, Surrey, Greater London. [Click on the image and those below to enlarge them.]

At the beginning of her ODNB entry on Kinkel, Rosemary Ashton describes her as a "music teacher and exile," but goes on to show that she was a composer and novelist as well, and altogether highly talented. Kinkel's second marriage was to (Johann) Gottfried Kinkel (1815–1882), the professor of art history at the University of Bonn who became a revolutionary, and whose daring escape from Spandau was highly publicised in Britain (see also Ashton, 142 Strand, 162). After that the family came to England, where they mixed in the highest cultural circles and also supported other refugees. But they did not escape criticism, and life was hard. As Sabine Freitag says, "Most refugees had to struggle just to stay alive" (51), and the Kinkels were no exception. Johanna was plagued by anxiety and depression, also by jealousy of her rather attractive husband. She died as a result of a fall from a window. It was probably suicide, though this was not proved. The Kinkels lived in St John's Wood.

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Photograph and caption by Robert Freidus. Text by Jacqueline Banerjee. Formatting by George P. Landow. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the Victorian Web and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite it in a print one.]


Ashton, Rosemary. 142 Strand: A Radical Address in Victorian London. London: Chatto & Windus, 2006. Print.

_____. "Kinkel, Johanna (1810-1858)." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Online ed. Web. 9 July 2013.

Freitag, Sabine. Exiles from European Revolutions: Refugees in Mid-Victorian England. New York & Oxford: Berghahn, 2003. Print.

Last modified 12 March 2013