‘This brief life, rich in images and quotes, does its job well.’
The year 2005 marks the bicentenary of the death of one of greatest figures in German literature. Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805) was a playwright, poet, historian and literary critic. Together with Goethe, whose friend and colleague he became, Schiller established the German language and its literature as essential components of European culture. His plays, including Wallenstein, Maria Stuart and Don Carlos, have been translated and performed all over the world.
This compact biography draws liberally on Schiller’s correspondence and on contemporary records. It places Schiller in the context of a rapidly changing Germany, with its many small, semi-folded principalities confronting the tide of new ideas from revolutionary France, an increasingly confident middle class and a growing sense of German national identity.
CLAUDIA PILLING, DIANA SCHILLING and MIRJAM SPRINGER are authorities on German literature of this period and all have contributed to the definitive National Edition of Schiller’s works.