Schlegel, August Wilhelm von

BORN 8 Sep 1767, Hannover, Niedersachsen - DIED 12 May 1845, Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen
GRAVE LOCATION Bonn, Nordrhein-Westfalen: Alter Friedhof (Abteilung I, Grabnummer 550-551)

Schlegel was the son of the Lutheran pastor Johann Adolf Schlegel (1721-1793). He was educated in Hanover and at the University of Göttingen. After working as a private teacher in Amsterdan he went to Jena, where he married the widow of the physician Böhmer, Caroline, in 1796. In 1798 he became a professor. He translated works of Shakespeare (under supervision of Ludwig Tieck and his daughter Dorothea). He also wrote for Schiller's "Musenalmanach". At the time there was a controversy between him and August von Kotzebue, who published the journal "Der Freimüthige", in which he attacked Goethe and the Schlegels.

Together with Friedrich in 1801 he published "Charakteristiken und Kritiken", a volume of essays. In 1802 he went to Berlin and in 1803 his tragedy "Ion" was published. He divorced Caroline and from 1804 onwards he travelled with Madame de Staël in Europe. In 1807 he attacked French classicism from a romantic point of view in his essay "Comparaison entre la Phèdre de Racine et celle d'Euripide".

In 1813 he became the secretary of the Swedish crown prince and in 1818 he was appointed professor of Literature at the university of Bonn, where he researched Indian languages.

After Madame de Stael's death in 1817 he married a daughter of Professor Paulus of Heidelberg in 1818, but a divorce followed in 1821. His work as a translator and as a critic is regarded as much more important than his work as a poet.

Related persons
• quarreled with Kotzebue, August von
• visited Pichler, Karoline
• is brother/sister of Schlegel, Friedrich von
• was a friend of Tieck, Ludwig


The grave of August Wilhelm von Schlegel at the Alter Friedhof, Bonn.
Picture by Androom (17 Mar 2022)


Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909

Schlegel, Friedrich von

Published: 01 Jan 2006
Last update: 26 Mar 2022