The New International Encyclopædia/Wahlverwandtschaften

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WAHLVERWANDTSCHAFTEN, väl'fĕr-vänt'shäft-en (Ger., Elective Affinities). A fatalistic romance by Goethe (1809), dealing with the irresistible passions which a married pair, Edward and Charlotte, conceive for Ottilie and the captain, two unmarried friends, and the tragic result that arises in consequence. The work has been severely criticised as immoral, and as highly praised.