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Death of Eduard Brandes Former Danish Finance Minister and Younger Brother of Georg Brandes

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The death is reported here to-day in Copenhagen at the age of 84 of Eduard Brandes, the famous Danish author and politician, a former Minister of Finance, and a younger brother of the late Georg Brandes, the great literary critic. A third brother, Ernst Immanuel Cohen Brandes, who died in 1892, was a famous economist.

Eduard Brandes was at first interested in Oriental and Comparative Philology, especially the study of Persian and Sanscrit, and after graduating from the University, he published a translation of two dramas from the Sanscrit. He then took up dramatic art, and criticism, but at the same time engaged in politics, and he was elected in 1880 as a democratic member of the Danish Parliament. About the same time, he published a volume of character sketches and studies on Danish dramatic art. This was followed by a series on foreign dramatic art. He also wrote a number of plays devoted mainly to psychological analysis and character-building, which won him a great deal of success and were highly praised as works of dramatic art. Many of them were successfully produced on the Danish stage and some were translated into German and produced in Germany. He also wrote a novel “A Politician”, which appeared in 1889, and he was the author of several political studies. He was Minister of Finance in 1909-10, and again in 1913-20. From 1902 he was sole editor of the leading Danish daily newspaper “Politiken”. He was also connected with the publication of the “Morgenbladet”, the organ of the Democratic Party, and with the publication of “The Nineteenth Century”, a review of which his brother, Georg Brandes was editor-in-chief.

Like his brother, Georg Brandes, he was an avowed atheist and this gave rise to an incident when he was first elected to Parliament, the President of the Chamber addressing him through a newspaper to ask whether, since he had no religious beliefs, he could take the customary oath on becoming a member of Parliament. Brandes protested against the intrusion on his private opinions, but at the same time expressed willingness to comply with the custom.

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