Clemens Brentano

Klemens Brentano

1778 (Ehrensbreitstein, Germany) – 1842 (Aschaffenburg)

Brentano’s lyrical poetry and story-telling encapsulated the spirit of second-generation German Romanticism. While still a (well-connected) student, he had met the Schlegels, Fichte, Tieck, Goethe, Wieland and Herder. Mendelssohn’s husband was a good friend. He worked closely with his lifelong friend Achim von Arnim (married to Brentano’s sister Bettina), the two gathering around them in Heidelberg a significant circle of likeminded writers: the Grimms (whose own story-collecting he stimulated), Eichendorff, Hoffmann and Görres. His final years were spent as literary amenuensis to a Catholic mystic.