Schlegel, Earl Wilhelm Friedrich Von
geschichte literature august
SCHLEGEL, EARL WILHELM FRIEDRICH VON (1772– 1829), known chiefly as an historian of literature, was the brother of August Wilhelm von Schlegel. He was born at Hanover on the 10th March 1772. Having studied at Gottingen and Leipsic, he attracted some attention by a book on the Criechen und Romer (1797), which was praised by Heyne. This work was soon followed by his Geschichte der Poesie der Griechen und Romer. At Jena, where he lectured as a privat-docent at the university, he contributed to the Athenzeum, many striking critical articles, and a number of lyrical, poems which were afterwards included in a volume entitled Gedichte. Here also he wrote Lucinde, an unfinished romance, which was held by some of the best of his contemporaries to be of a deeply immoral tendency, and Alarcos, a tragedy, in which he attempted without much success to combine romantic and classical elements. In 1802 he went to Paris, where he edited Europa, lectured on philosophy, and carried on Oriental studies, some results of which he embodied in a well-known book, Ueber die Sprache und Weisheit der Indier. In 1803 he and his wife joined the Roman Church, and from this time he became more and more opposed to the principles of political and religious freedom. He went to Vienna in 1808, and in the following year was engaged as imperial court secretary at the headquarters of the archduke Charles. At a later period he was for some time councillor of legation in the Austrian embassy at the Frankfort diet, but in 1818 he returned to Vienna. Meanwhile he had published two series of lectures, Ueber die neuere Geschichte (1811) and Geschichte der alien und neven Literatur (1815). After his return to Vienna from Frankfort he edited Concordia, and began the issue of his Slimmtliche Werke. He also delivered lectures, which were republished in his Philosophic des Lebens (1828) and in his Philosophie der Geschichte (1829). He died on the 11th January 1829 at Dresden, where he was delivering the course of lectures which appeared in 1830 under the title Philosophische Fortes-unyen, insbesondere ilber die Philosophie der Sprache und des Wortes. His own collection of his works included ten volumes, and to this number five volumes were added after his death. A permanent place in the history of German literature belongs to Friedrich Schlegel and his brother August Wilhelm as the critical leaders of the Romantic school, which derived from them most of its governing ideas as to the characteristics of the Middle Ages, and as to the methods of literary expression. In their writings, too, there is the fullest and most impressive statement of the mystical spiritual doctrines of the Romantic school. Of the two brothers, August Wilhelm did the highest permanent service to his countrymen by his translations from Shakespeare and Calderon. The best of Friedrich's works is his Geschichte der alters und neuen Literatur, in which was presented for the first time a systematic account of the development of European literature as a whole.
Friedrich Schlegers wife, Dorothea, a daughter of Moses Mendelssohn, was born at Berlin about the year 1770, and died at Frankfort in 1839. She was an eccentric but remarkably clever woman, and wrote or edited several works, issued by her husband, - the unfinished romance Plorentin (1801), the first volume of the Sansmluag romantischer Dichtungen des Mittelalters (2 vols., 1809), and Lother und Mailer (1805). By her first marriage she had a son, Philip Veit, who became one of the most eminent painters of his day in Germany.