CHARLOTTE BIRCH - PFEIFFER (1800-1868), German actress and dramatic writer, was born at Stuttgart on the 23rd of June 1800, the daughter of an estate agent named Pfeiffer. She received her early training at the Munich court theatre, and in 1818 began to play leading tragic roles at various theatres. In 1825 she married the historian Christian Birch of Copenhagen, but continued to act. From 1837 to 1843 she managed the theatre at Zurich. In 1844 she accepted an engagement at the royal theatre in Berlin, to which she remained attached until her death on the 24th of August 1868. Her intimate knowledge of the technical necessities of the stage fitted her for the successful dramatization of many popular novels, and her plays, adapted and original, make twenty-three volumes, Gesammelte dramatische Werke (Leip. 1863-1880). Many still retain the public favour. Her novels and tales, Gesammelte Novellen and Erzahlungen, were collected in three volumes (Leip. 1863-1865).
Her daughter, Wilhelmine Von Hillern (b. 1836), born at Munich, went on the stage, but retired upon her marriage in 1857. After 1889 she lived in Oberammergau and won a reputation as a novelist. Her most popular works are Ein Arzt der Seele (1869, 4th ed. 1886); and Die Geier-Wally (1883), which was dramatized and translated into English as The Vulture Maiden (Leip. 1876).
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