The Romantic Movement in Germany


Robert Ignatius Letellier, PhD – Institute of Continuing Education, Madingley Hall, Cambridge

Series: Focus on Civilizations and Cultures; Lives and Times of Distinguished Artists
BISAC: HIS014000; BIO007000; ART000000

Book Reviews

The Romantic Movement in Germany is an encyclopaedic book for those seeking to know more about this fascinating topic and its indelible contribution to European culture, art, philosophy and politics.  Letellier skillfully embraces and blends a fully referenced work that incorporates biography, opera, poetry, writing, painting, sculpture, architecture, women romantics, nature and the forest.  In contrast to the Enlightenment, it brings out the importance to German Romanticism of the mythical past and the supernatural. Thus, it highlights idealism, providence and transcendence.  Notably philosophy is covered such as Kant, Goethe and Hegel, and Fichte’s 14 addresses to the German nation.  This gives insights to the emergent nationalism. Letellier usefully notes the contribution of Scottish writers such MacPherson’s Ossian and the poems and novels of Sir Walter Scott to German Romantics. It is lavishly illustrated with 187 figures and also included are 29 readings. This should be essential reading and source of reference for those seeking to explore German Romanticism.” – Robert Gibson, Department of Civil Engineering, The University of the West of Scotland

“There are good books, very good books, and outstanding books. This latest publication by Letellier is a brilliant and profound introduction to and exploration of the Romantic movement in Germany. This magnificent book offers more than any other could in bringing the Romantic Movement to the curious, the aspiring, the expert even those who have doubts about the era in question will realize why it remains such a powerful influence in and on our own culture as part of the essence of our humanity.” To read the full review, click here >>>. Michael Trimble, Emeritus Professor in Behavioural Neurology, University College London, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, London, England

Book Description

The history, both political and intellectual, of Europe, but especially in the German-speaking lands, will be fundamental to consideration of the pre-Romantic and Romantic impulses that dominated the period 1770-1830. The Romantic Period in Germany is investigated in terms of the historical and social background (its context, centres and legacy), aspects of the Romantic imagination (concepts of truth, creativity, transcendence, liberty and redemption), dominating personalities of immense influence (Goethe, Schiller, Beethoven), the great literary collections of folktale and folksong (the Grimm Brothers, Arnim and Brentano), the novel (Novalis, Tieck, Hoffmann, Eichendorff, Fouqué), the lyric (Uhland, Heine), the drama ( Werner), the visual arts (Runge, Overbeck, Friedrich, Wackenroder, F. Schlegel), the music (esp. song and opera, Schubert, Weber). The wider legacy is also explored in the enduring influence of literary ideas on music throughout the nineteenth and into the twentieth centuries (Wagner, Humperdinck, Mahler, Richard Strauss). The centrepiece of the whole exercise is the Romantic opera Der Freischütz (1821). Using a folk tale from a popular collection of ghost stories, the poet Friedrich Kind produced a libretto that touched the very heart of the age, and inspired the composer Carl Maria von Weber to produce his masterly score that seemed to distil the every essence of Romanticism, and serves as an appropriate icon for the whole movement.

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Readings


Introduction to German Romanticism

Author Biography

Chapter 1. German Romanticism: A Brief Overview

Chapter 2. The Harbingers of Romanticism

Chapter 3. German Idealism and a New Patriotism/Nationalism

Chapter 4. The Romantic Genius

Chapter 5. The Unfolding of German Romantic Literature

Chapter 6. Johann Karl August Musäus

Chapter 7. The Romantic Dawn

Chapter 8. The Archetypical Romantic Poet

Chapter 9. German Romantic Literature

Chapter 10. Achim von Arnim and Clemens Brentano

Chapter 11. Des Knaben Wunderhorn (1806-08)

Chapter 12. Wilhelm Müller, Sir Walter Scott and the Schubert Song Cycles

Chapter 13. Friedrich Heinrich Karl de la Motte Fouqué Undine, the Archetypal Fairy Tale

Chapter 14. E.T.A. Hoffmann and His Tales

Chapter 15. The Brothers Grimm and the Kinder-Und Hausmärchen

Chapter 16. Apel & Laun Gespensterbuch (1811-15)

Chapter 17 Carl Maria von Weber: Der Freischütz (1821)

Chapter 18. Women of German Romanticism

Chapter 19. Artists of the Romantic Period

Chapter 20. The Numinous Landscape and Caspar David Friedrich: The Archetypal Romantic Artist

Chapter 21. The Neo-Romantic Afterglow and Sunset

Chapter 22. Richard Strauss and Four Last Songs




Author’s ORCID iD

Robert Ignatius Letellier0000-0001-7079-7113

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