Freytag, Gustav (gŏˈstäf frĪˈtäkh) [key], 1816–95, German novelist and playwright. He taught at the Univ. of Breslau and edited the Grenzboten (1848–70). His most successful play, The Journalists (1855, tr. 1888), is an adroit comedy of small-town life and politics. Best known today are his realistic novels Soll und Haben (1855, tr. Debit and Credit, 1856), Die verlorene Handschrift (1864, tr. The Lost Manuscript, 1865), and his ambitious series of German historical novels, Die Ahnen (1873–81, tr. of selections Ingo and Ingraban, 1873).