Settlers of the Marsh

Biographies and scholarship

D. O. Spettigue discovered Grove’s identity behind a web of fiction in October 1971 in the British Museum. Uncovering Grove’s prison incarceration in Germany, Spettigue published his findings in his 1973 book FPG: The European Years. This monograph was followed by Paul I. Hjartarson’s volume of essays, A Stranger to My Life, and prompted the translation of Grove’s German fiction into English, Fanny Essler, and The Master Mason’s House, both closely based on the life of Grove’s first wife Elsa Plötz (aka The Baroness). Desmond Pacey edited The Letters of F.P. Grove in addition to publishing a monograph, Frederick Philip Grove, while Margaret Stobie explored Grove’s teaching years in Manitoba in her book, Frederick Philip Grove.

Leading later efforts to establish the identity of Greve/Grove by unearthing new biographical information and relevant records, Klaus Martens has been "the chief pioneer" (W.J. Keith). Exploring both the European and Canadian contexts, Martens published Felix Paul Greves Karriere (in German), Felix Paul Greve - André Gide (correspondence in English, French, and German), and F. P. Grove in Europe and Canada: Translated Lives, the first well documented biography of the author in English. Martens' vast compilation Over Canadian Trails: F.P. Grove in New Letters and Documents includes the most extensive published collection of letters from and to Grove, including the Phelps correspondence, documents, many photographs, and much relevant commentary by the editor. This was preceded by Martens' A Dirge for My Daughter, a careful edition of selected poems by Grove which includes photographs and reproductions of handwritten letters and notes. In addition to his Grove monographs and editions, Martens published numerous articles on both Grove and Else Plötz.

In her book Sexualizing Power in Naturalism: Theodore Dreiser and Frederick Philip Grove, Irene Gammel examined the gender relationships of Grove’s fiction, focussing in particular on his sexualized (and modern) female figures and the overexposed relationships of power. Gammel also traced Grove’s relationship with Elsa Plötz (Baroness Elsa) in her biography Baroness Elsa: Gender, Dada, and Everyday Modernity, documenting that the couple had been legally married and that Grove’s reasons for hiding his identity had much to do with his fear of being discovered by his former wife, the dada artist Baroness Elsa. It has also been argued, by Martens in Over Canadian Trails, perhaps more persuasively, that Greve understandably changed his identity in order to escape internment as a German national at the outbreak of the Great War.

In his essay "Felix Paul Greve, The Eulenburg Scandal, and Frederick Philip Grove," Richard Cavell proposed a queering approach to Grove’s work, while Paul Hjartarson and Tracy Kulba’s collection Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven and Felix Paul Greve assembles a range of perspectives by a number of scholars, including the editors, as well as Jutta Ernst, Klaus Martens, and Paul Morris.

A great deal of research is provided by Gaby Divay at the University of Manitoba, who also edited a first edition of Grove’s poetry as her Master's thesis. See Dr. Gaby Divay’s research papers below.


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