Effi Briest is widely considered to be Theodor Fontane’s masterpiece and one of the most famous German realist novels of all time. Thomas Mann once said that if one had to reduce one’s library to six novels, Effi Briest would have to be one of them. Published from 1894 to 1895 as a serial novel in the Deutsche Rundschau, a German magazine, it was first published in book form in 1896. The novel marks a watershed and climax at once in the poetic realism of literature and forms a thematic trilogy on marriage in the nineteenth century from the female point of view along with the more famous Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary. All three are adultery tragedies.