The Blue Flower: A sad story
The first of the great Romantic theorists was Friedrich Leopold, Baron von Hardenberg (Novalis) (see left). Wasn't he a pretty boy! Both his looks and his life show him to be a text-book case of a Romantic poet: an intense love affair followed an early death of tuberculosis (like John Keats) (below right).
In 1790-91 he studied law at the University of Jena, where he met the great Friedrich von Schiller (left) and Friedrich Schlegel. By 1793 when the ideas of the French Revolution were sweeping though Germany, he dreamed of a time when ‘the walls of Jericho’ would tumble down. In 1795 he read Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship, which he considered the Bible of the ‘new age’.
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