Jean Paul

BORN 21 Mar 1765, Wunsiedel, Bayern - DIED 14 Nov 1825, Bayreuth, Bayern
BIRTH NAME Richter, Johannes Paul Friedrich
GRAVE LOCATION Bayreuth, Bayern: Stadtfriedhof

Jean Paul was born as Johannes Paul Friedrich Richter in the Fichtelgebirge in Bavaria. After attending the gymnasium in Hof he studied at Leipzig, where he devoted himself to literature instead of theology. In 1784 he ran out of money and went to live with his mother in Hof. For several years he worked as a tutor.

He had also started to write and in 1793 his novel "Die unsichtbare Loge" ("The Invisible Lodge") was published. He was immediately noted by several critics and in 1795 his "Hesperus" became a success and made him famous. He published more books in rapid succession and became a highly popular writer.

After his mother died he moved to Leipzig in 1797 and to Weimar in 1798, where he was on friendly terms with Herder. He wasn't close to Goethe and Schiller, who didn't like his work. But Jean Paul was good at conversation and popular in Weimar society.

He married Caroline Meyer in 1801 and lived with her at Meiningen and Coburg. From 1804 onwards they lived at Bayreuth. In 1821 their only son died, a heavy blow that Jean Paul never really overcame. He lost his eyesight in 1824 and died in 1825.

Jean Paul was a best selling author during his lifetime, but soon after his death his fame faded. The fact that Goethe and Schiller didn't like his work may have been part of this. During the 20th century his work was rediscovered.

Related persons
• was a friend of Kalb, Charlotte von
• is family of Richter, Heinrich


The grave of Jean Paul at the Stadtfriedhof, Bayreuth.
Picture by Androom (24 Jan 2006)


Statue of Jean Paul at the Ludwigstrasse in Bayreuth.
Picture by Androom (02 Mar 2009)


Memorial stone at the location where the house stood where Jean Paul lived in at the Markt, Weimar.
Picture by Androom (01 Aug 2016)


• Fischer, Manfred F., Ruhmeshalle und Bavaria, Bayerische Verwaltung der Staatlichen Schlösser, München, 1987
Jean Paul - Wikipedia

Jellinek, Emil

Published: 01 Apr 2006
Last update: 20 Apr 2022