The Last Summer

by Ricarda Huch


A psychological thriller by the pioneering German writer Ricarda Huch. A novel of letters from the last century – but one with an astonishingly modern feel. Now for the first time in English.

Russia at the beginning of the 20th century. To counter student unrest, the governor of St Petersburg closes the state university. Soon afterwards he arrives at his summer residence with his family and receives a death threat. His worried wife employs a young bodyguard, Lju, to protect her husband. Little does she know that Lju sides with the students – and the students are plotting an assassination.

Translated from the German by Jamie Bulloch.

120pp, paperback with flaps, £12
ISBN 978-1-908670-34-2
Publication date: 24 February 2017

Press & Reviews

‘She is the First Lady of Germany. No, she is probably the First Lady of Europe.’ Thomas Mann

'The very model of stylish female of troublemaker... a social revolutionary in the deepest sense.' Clive James

'The novel [has] a poignant Chekhovian melancholy. The shocking denouement, however, is effected by a stroke of Modernist brilliance that is anything but Chekhovian.' C.J. Schuler

'A captivating and at times electrifying read, one which expertly evokes the instability and tension of the period... A remarkable lost-and-found classic.' Malcom Forbes, The National

About The Book


Ricarda Huch (1864 –1947) was a ground-breaking German historian, novelist and philosopher. As one of the first women to study at the University of Zurich, she received her doctorate in Philosophy and History in 1892. She authored numerous works on European history. She also wrote novels, poems, and a play. Der Letzte Sommer (The Last Summer) was first published in 1910. In 1926 she was the first female writer to be admitted to the Prussian Academy of Arts. She won from Thomas Mann the title: 'The First Lady of Germany' – and even had an asteroid named in her honour.


Jamie Bulloch is a historian and has worked as a professional translator from German since 2001. After studying Modern Languages, he obtained an MA in Central European History and followed up with a PhD in interwar Austrian history. His translations include books by Paulus Hochgatterer, Alissa Walser and Timur Vermes. He is the translator of five Peirene titles: Portrait of the Mother as a Young Woman by Friedrich Christian Delius, Sea of Ink by Richard Weihe, The Mussel Feast by Birgit Vanderbeke, winner of the 2015 Schlegel-Tieck Prize for German Translation, The Empress and the Cake by Linda Stift and The Last Summer by Ricarda Huch. He is also the author of A Short History of Tuscany and Karl Renner: Austria.