Mendelssohn, Dorothea

NOVELIST, TRANSLATOR (GERMANY)
BORN 24 Oct 1763, Berlin - DIED 3 Aug 1839, Frankfurt am Main, Hessen
REAL NAME Mendelssohn, Brendel
GRAVE LOCATION Frankfurt am Main, Hessen: Hauptfriedhof (Gewann B, 180)

Oldest daughter of the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn. In 1783 she married the merchant and banker Simon Veit, but she started an affair with the poet and critic Friedrich von Schlegel, whom she had met in the salon of her friend Henriette Herz. She left her husband and they were divorced in 1799.

She was allowed to keep their younger son on the condition that she wouldn't marry again and wouldn't raise him as a christian. She lived with her son at the Ziegelstraße, which became a meeting point of the Schlegel brothers, Tieck, Schelling and Novalis.

Schlegel's novel "Lucinde" (1799) was believed to be about them and caused a scandal in Berlin. In 1801 her novel "Florentin" was published anonymously by Schlegel. They lived in Paris from 1802 until 1804 and after her divorce she became a protestant and they married. In 1807 she translated "Corinne" by Madame de Staël from the French.

In 1808 they both converted to catholicism. She frequently visited the salons of Rahel Levin and Henriette Herz and organized literary events at her own house as well. After the death of her husband in 1829 she went to Frankfurt am Main where she lived at the house of her son Philipp until her death in 1839.

Family
• Husband: Schlegel, Friedrich von

Related persons
• knew Boisserée, Sulpice
• visited Herz, Henriette
• visited Varnhagen von Ense, Rahel

Sources
• Aubert, Joachim, Handbuch der Grabstätten berühmten Deutscher, Österreicher und Schweizer, Deutscher Kunstverlag, München, 1973
• Moos, Günter, Wegweiser durch den Frankfurter Hauptfriedhof, 1994
Dorothea von Schlegel, geb. Brendel Mendelssohn (1764-1839)

Images

The grave of Dorothea Schlegel at the Hauptfriedhof, Frankfurt.
Picture by Androom (28 feb 2000)

 


Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Fanny

Published: 1 Jan 2006
Last update: 17 May 2013