Hebbel, Christian Friedrich

PLAYWRIGHT (GERMANY)
BORN 18 Mar 1813, Wesselburen - DIED 13 Dec 1863, Wien
GRAVE LOCATION Wien: Evangelischer Friedhof Matzleinsdorf, 10. Triesterstraße 1 (Gruft 38)

Friedrich Hebbel grew up in poverty. The journalist Amalie Schoppe helped him to publish some of his poems and thanks to her he was able to move to Hamburg in 1835 where he entered the University. There he started a relationship with the seamstress elise Lensing (1804-1854). He moved on to Heidelberg to study law and then Munich to study philosophy and literature. In 1839 he went back to Hamburg on foot. There he was seriously ill. Elise, who had helped him as well during his time in Munich, nursed him and in 1840 they had a son, Max.

His first tragedy "Judith" was published in 1841 and after is was performed in 1842 in Hamburg and Berlin his name was made. In 1843 Max died and in 1844 he and Elise had another son, Ernst. His "Mary Magdalene" (1843) added to his fame. Elise wanted marriage, but after quarreling he broke with her and moved to Viena, where the noble Polish Zerboni supported him.

In 1846 he married the rich and pretty actress Christine Enghaus and his financial problems were over. She appeared in his plays and in 1846 a son was born, but he died after three months. 1847 his son Ernst died as well and a devastated Elise was invited by Christine to visit them in Vienna. With Christine he also had a daughter, Christine, called Titi. In 1851 Elise died.

In 1857 he visited Shopenhauer in Frankfurt am Main and Mönike in Stuttgart and in 1858 he met Caroline von Sayn-Wittgenstein in Weimar. By that time he was regarded as one of the greatest living dramatist and he was writing his most important work, "Die Nibelungen". He finished this trilogy in 1862 and it made him really famous. But his health was detoriating and he suffered from severe pain of the limbs. A cure in Baden offered no relief and he died in 1863. By that time "Die Niebelungen" had been staged in Mannheim, Coburg, Prague, Klagenfurt and Hannover and other cities would follow soon.

Family
• Wife: Enghaus, Christine (1846-, Wien)

Related persons
• knew Carolina, Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein
• met Heyse, Paul
• visited Mörike, Eduard
• visited Rettich, Julie
• visited Schopenhauer, Arthur
• corresponded with Uhland, Ludwig

Sources
Baedeker Berlin, Baedeker Verlag, Stuttgart, 1994
• Budig, Robert S. et al, Ehrengräber am Wiener Zentralfriedhof, Compress Verlag Wien, Wien
Christian Friedrich Hebbel - Wikipedia

Images

The grave of Christian Friedrich Hebbel and Christine Enghaus at the Evangelischer Friedhof Matzleinsdorf.
Picture by Androom (26 Aug 2002)

 


Hecht, Ben

Published: 27 Dec 2009
Last update: 13 Mar 2016