Charlotte Von Kalb
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Charlotte Von Kalb
Charlotte von Kalb
Charlotte von Kalb by Johann Friedrich August Tischbein
Charlotte von Kalb by Johann Friedrich August Tischbein
Born(1761-07-25)25 July 1761
Saal an der Saale, Electorate of Bavaria
Died12 May 1843(1843-05-12) (aged 81)
Berlin, Kingdom of Prussia
SpouseHeinrich Julius Alexander von Kalb

Charlotte Sophia Juliana von Kalb (25 July 1761 - 12 May 1843) was a German writer who associated with poets Friedrich Schiller, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Hölderlin and Jean Paul.

Life

Charlotte Sophia Juliana, Baroness Marshal of Ostheim, was born in Saal an der Saale in 1761. She was characterized as neurotic in her youth.[1]

Career

She married Major Heinrich Julius Alexander von Kalb[1] on 25 October 1783. He was a veteran of France's involvement with the American War of Independence.[2]

Charlotte von Kalb by Johann Heinrich Schmidt

Her marriage was an unhappy one as her husband was devoted to his career and they only spent their winters together.[2] She employed Friedrich Hölderlin, then a young poet, as a tutor for her son. She was also associated with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.[3] Von Kalb was more than just a socialite and was said to have been asked to pass on Goethe's ideas about the development of animals' skulls to Professor Johann Herder. The idea was that skulls developed from vertebrae, an idea that is now discredited.[3]

Friedrich Schiller had an affair with von Kalb in the 1780s after they met in Mannheim in 1784. Schiller was two years older than she and they were together for a number of years; there was talk of von Kalb divorcing and remarrying.[4] Schiller is said to have based a number of his female characters on von Kalb.[3] Eventually Schiller convinced himself that they needed to separate, but he needed help from his family and friends to extricate himself.[4] Schiller married in 1790.[5]

In 1796, von Kalb began her correspondence with Jean Paul. The primary interest was intellectual but Jean Paul was flattered and arranged to travel to Weimar to meet her in person. Even then their letters were initially cool, although Jean Paul was said to be "magnetic", and he admired not only von Kalb's eyes but also "her soul". Von Kalb's letters to Jean Paul were later published, containing their entreaties of love. Jean Paul was in two minds but he decided that she was "too titanic, too heroic". They did not marry as Jean Paul might have indicated.[4]

Von Kalb's marriage effectively ended in 1800 when she unofficially separated from her husband. His military career had ended and his financial position was poor. He shot himself in April 1806 in Munich.[2]

She died in Berlin in 1843. Von Kalb published no books in her lifetime. In 1851, some years after her death, Cornelia was published, and in 1879, over thirty years after her death, an incomplete autobiography was published titled Charlotte.[6] Von Kalb was judged unfavourably by women but she "fascinated nearly all the men she ever knew".[4]

References

  1. ^ a b Bruford, W. H. (1962). Culture and Society in Classical Weimar 1775-1806. CUP Archive. pp. 324-. ISBN 978-0-521-09910-3.
  2. ^ a b c Heinrich Julius Alexander von Kalb, waltershausen-grabfeld.de (in German), retrieved 17 March 2014
  3. ^ a b c Filler, Aaron G. (2007). The upright ape a new origin of the species. Franklin Lakes, NJ: New Page Books. p. 56. ISBN 1564149331.
  4. ^ a b c d "Charlotte von Kalb" (PDF). New York Times. 1883. Retrieved 2014.
  5. ^ "Friedrich Schiller", Encyclopædia Britannica, retrieved 17 March 2014
  6. ^ Charlotte von Kalb, retrieved 16 March 2014

Bibliography

  • Ursula Naumann: Charlotte von Kalb. Eine Lebensgeschichte (1761-1843). Metzler, Stuttgart 1985
  • Klaus Herrmann: Der Abschied. Eine Erzählung um Schiller und Charlotte von Kalb. Weimar 1955
  • Ida Boy-Ed: Charlotte von Kalb. Eine psychologische Studie. Jena 1912, Stuttgart 1920
  • Johann Ludwig Klarmann: Geschichte der Familie von Kalb, mit besonderer Rücksicht auf Charlotte von Kalb. Erlangen 1902
  • Ernst Köpke: Charlotte von Kalb und ihre Beziehungen zu Schiller und Göthe. 1852

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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