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A Brief Heinrich Heine Bio

Written by: Heine (Heinrich), German poet and littérateur, b. of Jewish parents at Dusseldorf, 31 Dec. 1797. He studied law at Bonn, [166]Berlin, and Göttingen; became acquainted with the philosophy of Spinoza and Hegel; graduated LL.D., and in June 1825 renounced Judaism and was baptised. The change was only formal. He satirised all forms of religious faith. His fine Pictures of Travel was received with favor and translated by himself into French. His other principal works are the Book of Songs, History of Recent Literature in Germany, The Romantic School, The Women of Shakespeare, Atta Troll and other poems. In 1835 he married a French lady, having settled in Paris, where “the Voltaire of Germany” became more French than German. About 1848 he became paralysed and lost his eyesight, but he still employed himself in literary composition with the aid of an amanuensis. After an illness of eight years, mostly passed in extreme suffering on his “mattress grave,” he died 17 Feb. 1856. Heine was the greatest and most influential German writer since Goethe. He called himself a Soldier of Freedom, and his far-flashing sword played havoc with the forces of reaction.

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