Love across Color Lines

Ottilie Assing and Frederick Douglass
Hill and Wang


In this nuanced, sympathetic interpretation of two extraordinary lives, Maria Diedrich acquaints us with an important and little-known relationship. Ottilie Assing, an intrepid German journalist, met and interviewed Frederick Douglass in 1856, and it was an encounter that transformed the lives of both. Diedrich reveals in fascinating detail their intimate twenty-eight-year relationship, their shared intellectual and cultural interests, and their work together on Douglass's abolitionist writings. Love across Color Lines is a profound meditation on nineteenth-century racial, class, and national boundaries, and offers new insights into the career of a preeminent American leader.