A Life in the Making


Author: Franz Michael Felder
Translated by David Henry Wilson

9781782276852 | PB | pp. 320 | 2021 | Pushkin Press

A Life in the Making is the autobiographical account of Franz Felder’s life—an extraordinary writer and social reformer from Austria.

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Over the 29 years of his short life, the author worked with furious productivity to better himself and the lives of those around him. From his humble origins in the Austrian village of Schoppernau, he went on to found workers’ cooperatives, a political party and even a public library in his own home, as well as writing many literary works.

A Life in the Making is both the culmination of this extraordinary career and a chronicle of its development. It is a story of early hardship and fortitude, of his relentless zeal for learning and his lifelong effort to reconcile his own expanding horizons with the enforced confines of the community he was born to. Unfolding in prose of limpid beauty, This work becomes Felder’s deeply moving tribute to his wife Nanni, and to his enduring belief in the possibility of a better world.

Additional information


Franz Michael Felder
Translator: David Henry Wilson





Year of Publication:



Pushkin Press





Country of Origin:

United Kingdom

About the Contributors

Franz Michael Felder (1839-1869) was born to a farming family in Schoppernau, Austria. Over the course of his short life, he built an extraordinary career as a writer and social reformer. He was one of the first Austrian writers to document the farming life he was born to, and he earned a reputation as a rebel through his socially critical writing and work in politics and agricultural reform. He began to write his masterpiece, A Life in the Making, shortly after the death of his beloved wife Nanni, and Felder himself died only a few months after finishing it.

David Henry Wilson is a playwright, novelist and children’s author, and his translations range from the sweet simplicity of children’s picture books to the labyrinthine complexities of literary theory. He lectured for many years on English Language and Literature at the universities of Bristol and Constance, where he founded the university theatre. He is widowed, has three children and three grandchildren, and lives in Taunton, Somerset.


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