The Treasure Chest

Mark Williams reads some pithy, comic anecdotes from a German almanac.

An enduring classic of German literature, The Treasure Chest by Johann Peter Hebel (pub.1811) is a collection of pithy comic anecdotes, mysteries and moral tales full of sanity, wit and good humour.

As its title promises, The Treasure Chest contains some real gems of imaginative fiction.

Hebel developed a spontaneous and accessible style for these stories - which he originally wrote for inclusion in a popular almanac - for the entertainment and instruction of the ordinary, working people of the small, German state of Baden, where he was a schoolteacher and Lutheran preacher.

Since its publication in 1811, The Treasure Chest has drawn generations of admirers including Goethe, Tolstoy, Wittgenstein, and Herman Hesse.

Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
AR01Tales Of Life And Death2009021020110109
AR02Tales Of Wisdom And Common Sense2009021120110116

A doctor suggests a surprisingly effective cure, and a barber's boy gets the better of a difficult customer.

AR03 LASTTales Of Cunning2009021220110123

A soldier is married on sentry duty, and Dr Rapunzius sells some amazing toothache pills.

An enduring classic of German literature, The Treasure Chest by Johann Peter Hebel (pub.1811) is a collection of pithy comic anecdotes, mysteries and moral tales full of sanity, wit and good humour.

A soldier gets married while on sentry duty; and Dr Rapunzius sells some amazing toothache pills.

Translated by John Hibberd and abridged by Roy Apps.

Read by Mark Williams

Producer/Director: David Blount

A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4

Producer David Blount.