1910 Nobel Prize in Literature
Paul von Heyse
"as a tribute to the consummate artistry, permeated with idealism, which he has demonstrated during his long productive career as a lyric poet, dramatist, novelist and writer of world-renowned short stories."
  • 6 October 1910 (announcement)
  • 10 December 1910
LocationStockholm, Sweden
Presented bySwedish Academy
First awarded1901
WebsiteOfficial website
← 1909 · Nobel Prize in Literature · 1911 →

The 1910 Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to the German writer Paul Heyse (1830–1914) "as a tribute to the consummate artistry, permeated with idealism, which he has demonstrated during his long productive career as a lyric poet, dramatist, novelist and writer of world-renowned short stories."[1] He is the third German recipient of the prize after Rudolf Christoph Eucken in 1908.[2]


Main article: Paul Heyse

Paul Heyse translated Italian poetry in addition to writing short tales, poems, novels, and plays. He belonged to Die Krokodile and Tunnel über der Spree, two literary organizations. Heyse's became better known as a writer of short stories with his famous works Der Jungbrunnen ("The Fountain of Youth", 1850) and L'Arrabiata ("The Fury", 1852), which is one of his most well-known novellas. The emphasis of Heyse's writings is on individuality and freedom.[3][2]

Mary of Magdala (1902), a play by Paul Heyse.

He was dubbed Dichterfürst o prince of poetry, and he worked tirelessly to promote international understanding within Europe. His last published works were Letzten Novellen ("Recent Novellas") and Italienischen Volksmärchen ("Italian Folktales", 1914).[2]



Heyse had not been nominated for the prize before 1910, making it one of the rare occasions when an author have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature the same year they were first nominated.[4] The nomination for Paul Heyse was made by a great number of professors and others in Munich, Berlin, Breslau, Halle, Leipzig and Vienna.[5]

In total, the Nobel Committee of the Swedish Academy received 27 nominations for 25 writers, among them Georg Brandes, Juhani Aho, and Ángel Guimerá. Twelve of the nominees were nominated first-time including Thomas Hardy, Andrew Lang, Robert Bridges, William Dean Howells, Alfred Fouillée, Gustav Warneck, Édouard Rod, Pierre Loti. Two of the nominees were women and both were also nominated first-time: American historian Molly Elliot Seawell and Austrian novelist Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach.[6]

The authors Giuseppe Cesare Abba, Vittoria Aganoor, Otto Julius Bierbaum, Samuel Langhorne Clemens (known as Mark Twain), Frederick James Furnivall, Julia Ward Howe, William James, Emil Friedrich Kautzsch, Maria Konopnicka, William Vaughn Moody, George Panu, William Sydney Porter (known as O. Henry), Wilhelm Raabe, Jules Renard, Bertilda Samper Acosta, Florencio Sánchez, Catherine Helen Spence, and Toini Topelius died in 1910 without having been nominated for the prize. The Swiss novelist Édouard Rod died months before the announcement.

Official list of nominees and their nominators for the prize
No. Nominee Country Genre(s) Nominator(s)
1 Juhani Aho (1861–1921)  Russia
( Finland)
novel, short story Leo Mechelin (1839–1914)
2 Wilhelm Benignus (1861–1930)  Germany
 United States
short story, poetry, essays Marion Dexter Learned (1857–1917)
3 Georg Brandes (1842–1927)  Denmark literary criticism, essays
4 Robert Bridges (1844–1930)  Great Britain poetry, essays Charles Villiers Stanford (1852–1924)
5 William Chapman (1850–1917)  Canada poetry, translation Amédée Gosselin (1863–1941)
6 Francesco D'Ovidio (1849–1925)  Italy philology, literary criticism Ernesto Monaci (1844–1918)
7 Antonio Fogazzaro (1842–1911)  Italy novel, poetry, short story Eugène-Melchior de Vogüé (1848–1910)
8 Alfred Fouillée (1838–1912)  France philosophy Carl David af Wirsén (1842–1912)
9 Anatole France (1844–1924)  France poetry, essays, drama, novel, literary criticism Paul Hervieu (1857–1915)
10 Martin Greif (1839–1911)  Germany poetry, drama August Sauer (1855–1926)
11 Ángel Guimerá Jorge (1845–1924)  Spain drama, poetry 20 members of the Reial Acadèmia de Bones Lletres de Barcelona
12 Thomas Hardy (1840–1928)  Great Britain novel, short story, poetry 6 members of the Society of Authors
13 Paul Heyse (1830–1914)  Germany poetry, drama, novel, short story professors in Munich, Berlin,
Breslau, Halle, Leipzig and Vienna
14 William Dean Howells (1837–1920)  United States novel, short story, literary criticism, drama Brander Matthews (1852–1929)
15 Andrew Lang (1844–1912)  Great Britain poetry, novel, short story, essays, literary criticism, translation Edith Nesbit (1858–1924)
16 Ernest Lavisse (1842–1922)  France history Frédéric Masson (1847–1923)
17 Pierre Loti (1850–1923)  France novel, short story, autobiography, essays Gabriel Hanotaux (1853–1944)
18 Maurice Maeterlinck (1862–1949)  Belgium drama, poetry, essays Carl Bildt (1850–1931)
19 Marcelino Menéndez Pelayo (1856–1912)  Spain history, philosophy, philology, poetry, translation, literary criticism 4 members of the Royal Spanish Academy
20 John Morley (1838–1923)  Great Britain biography, literary criticism, essays 28 members of the Society of Authors
21 Édouard Rod (1857–1910)   Switzerland
novel, short story, essays, literary criticism Edmond Rossier (1865–1945)
22 Salvador Rueda Santos (1857–1933)  Spain poetry, essays 7 professors at the Complutense University of Madrid
23 Molly Elliot Seawell (1860–1916)  United States history, novel, short story Charles William Kent (1860–1917)
24 Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach (1830–1916)  Austria-Hungary novel, short story, drama Emil Reich (1854–1910)
25 Gustav Warneck (1834–1910)  Germany theology, history

Price decision

In 1910, Maurice Maeterlinck, Paul Heyse, Thomas Hardy and Anatole France were shortlisted by the Nobel committee.[citation needed] During the delibartions, Hardy was dismissed because his works were deemed "too immoral and ungodly" and for his "depictions of fallen women and his atheism";[citation needed] France was dismissed "as not having the noble idealism that should characterize those awarded the Nobel Prize";[citation needed] Maeterlinck's evaluation was similarly held the previous year;[citation needed] and Heyse's works was praised for his outstanding novellas.[citation needed] Heyse's selection was considered vague, but it was suggested that he was one of the last acclaimed realists in Germany still alive from the 1860s and that motivated the committee to award him the prize.[citation needed][7][page needed]


The Nobel Prize to Paul Heyse did not receive much attention in his native Germany. Responses outside the German-speaking world were far more numerous. Particularly in Italy appreciations appeared in many publications, as well as notices in French newspapers such as Le Figaro.[8]


  1. ^ a b The nomination was made jointly by W. Söderhjelm and Y. Hirn, both members of the Finnish Scientific Society
  2. ^ a b The nomination was made by a great number of missionary societies and individuals, of whom J. Ficker and C. Mirbt are considered qualified nominators.


  1. ^ The Nobel Prize in Literature 1910 nobelprize.org
  2. ^ a b c Paul Johann Ludwig von Heyse britannica.com
  3. ^ Paul Heyse – Facts nobelprize.org
  4. ^ "Nomineringar och utlåtanden 1901-1950" (in Swedish). Svenska Akademien.
  5. ^ Nomination archive – Paul Heyse nobelprize.org
  6. ^ Nomination archive – 1910 nobelprize.org
  7. ^ Gustav Källstrand Andens Olympiska Spel: Nobelprisets historia, Fri Tanke 2021
  8. ^ Thomas Oliver Beebee German Literature as World Literature, Bloomsbury Publishing USA 2014, p.152