Elizabeth de Waal

Elizabeth de Waal (1899-1991)

Elisabeth de Waal – Grandmother of Edmund de Waal, was born in Vienna in 1899, the eldest child of Viktor von Ephrussi, of the banking family, and Baroness Emmy Schey von Karomla. She was educated at home and at a leading boys’ school, studied philosophy, law and economics at the University of Vienna, and when only 19 gave a paper at the first of Ludwig von Mises’s legendary Private Seminars on economics. She completed her doctorate in 1923 and also wrote poems (exchanging letters about poetry with Rilke). She was a Rockefeller Foundation fellow at Columbia; as was the political philosopher Eric Voegelin, with whom she corresponded for many years. In 1928 she married Hendrik de Waal, a Dutchman; they had two sons, Victor and Constant (later Henry), lived first in Paris and then in Switzerland, and in 1939 settled in Tunbridge Wells. She wrote five unpublished novels, two in German and three in English, including The Exiles Return in the late-1950s. She died in 1991.


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