Daniel Kehlmann: Tyll [Till]

The latest addition to my website is Daniel Kehlmann‘s Tyll [Till]. It is based on the legend of the trickster Till Eulenspiegel though Kehlmann has moved him from his traditional 14th century date to the Thirty Years’ War. We follow Till’s childhood – his father is executed by the Jesuits for witchcraft – and his escape from his village with Nele, his girlfriend who is not his girlfriend. They become travelling players and their reputation spreads far and wide, so much so that Till becomes the official fool of Frederick V of the Palatinate. We follow political events through the eyes of Frederick’s wife, the Scottish Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia, known to history as the Winter Queen. Frederick dies of an infection while seeking help in his war from Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden. Kehlmann is eager to point out the horrors of war, and this war is bloody, messy and very badly organised. It is not Kehlmann’s best – jumping from Till and his adventures to Elizabeth Stuart and her problems and the problems of her husband, but is still worth reading.

1 thought on “Daniel Kehlmann: Tyll [Till]”

  1. I am an 83 yr old American, Judith Jane Finlay (married to Waldo Bernal; PurchMgr Dole Inc. 40+yrs), I was born in New Orleans, yet raised in Cuba (ref: my Grt. Gr. Father Dr. Carlos Finley, who developed the cure for Yellow Fever in early 1999) I was fascinated by Mr. Daniel Kelmann’s book on “Tyll”, e.g. story of early European Political Environment, & his contribution to eliminating the threat to the world.
    We regularly “MONITOR” CHRISTINE AMANPOUR’s PROGRAM, which is always most memorable of the historic evolution she has experienced…thus today previewed on T.V. re book: “TYLL” BY D. KELMANN. Symply means I shall have to read the wonderful book. Sincerely, Judith Jane Finlay/ Bernal; Gulfport, MS.39503


Leave a comment