In 1919, Thomas Mann said that Effi Briest was one of the ''six most important novels ever written''.
In Bismarck's Germany, Fontane's brilliant story of an emotionally catastrophic relationship between the enchanting seventeen-year-old Effi and a strict, workaholic official twice her age is both touching and disturbing.
Fontane's narrative shows a world in which sexuality and the enjoyment of life are cruelly stifled by narrow-mindedness and circumstances.
Considered by many as the summit of the German novel of the 19th century, Effi Briest is a classic story of adultery.
THEODOR FONTANE (1819–1898) was a German poet and novelist regarded by critics as perhaps the most important 19th-century German-language writer.