Brentano, Clemens

POET, WRITER (GERMANY)
BORN 8 Sep 1778, Koblenz, Rheinland-Pfalz: Ehrenbreitstein - DIED 28 Jul 1842, Aschaffenburg, Bayern
REAL NAME Brentano de La Roche, Clemens Wenzeslaus
GRAVE LOCATION Aschaffenburg, Bayern: Altstadtfriedhof, Lamprechtstrasse

Clemens Brentano was the second son of the rich merchant Peter Anton Brentano and his second wife Maxiliane von la Roche, who was admired by Goethe. He mostly grew up in Frankfurt am Main and Koblenz but also lived in Heidelberg and Mannheim during his youth. During a visit to Vienna he became friends with Hans von Bostel (1779-1839) and Friedrich Carl von Savigny (1779-1861), who would marry his sister Kunigunde in 1804.

After a commercial apprenticeship failed he studied mountain sciences in Halle in 1797, but in 1798 he switched to medicine at Jena University. But in Jena he turned to literature after he met met Wieland, Herder, Goethe and others. In 1801 his novel "Godwi" was published and in the same year he went to Göttingen to study Philosophy. In Göttingen he met Achim von Arnim who became a close friend and they often lived under one roof until Achim married his sister Bettina in 1811.

In 1804 Clemens married the author Sophie Mereau and they settled in Heidelberg in 1804. They had two children that died soon after their birth and in 1806 Sophie died during the birth of their third child. In Juli 1807 he eloped with sixteen year old Auguste Bußmann (a half-sister of Marie d'Agoult) and they married in August 1807. Soon after the marriage they quarreled and started living apart, but only in 1814 they were divorced. She would drown herself in the river Main in 1832.

In 1809 Brentano went to Berlin, in 1811 to Bohemia and in 1813 to Vienna. His attempts to work as a playwright in Vienna failed. In 1815 he returned to Berlin. He wanted to marry Louise Hensel (1798-1876) but she refused him. From 1818 to 1824 he lived in Dülmen where he documented the visions of the Anna Katharina Emmerick, adding his own comments to what she said. Emmerick died in 1824 and he lived in Frankfurt am Main (1829), Regensburg (1832) and München (1833). In Munich he met the painter Emilie Linder who was twenty years younger and didn't answer his declarations of love.

On 7 July 1842 he went to his brother Christian in Aschaffenburg. He died there three weeks later and was buried in Aschaffenburg. Most of his poetical work was only published after his death by Christian's wife Emilie Brentano.

Related persons
• knew Grimm, Ludwig Emil
• knew Hoffmann, Ernst Theodor Amadeus
• met Müller, Wilhelm
• visited Pichler, Karoline
• visited Staegemann, Elisabeth von
• was a friend of Tieck, Ludwig
• quarreled with Varnhagen von Ense, Karl-August

Images

The grave of Franz and Clemens Brentano at the Altstadtfriedhof, Aschaffenburg.
Picture by Androom (02 May 2013)

 

Sources
Clemens Brentano – Wikipedia


Breton, André

Published: 25 Sep 2021
Last update: 25 Sep 2021