Katharina Elisabeth Goethe

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Katharina Elisabeth Goethe
Catharina Elisabeth Goethe 1776.jpg
Portrait by Georg Oswald May (1776)

Katharina Elisabeth Goethe, known as "Frau Rat" (19 February 1731 - 13 September 1808) was the mother of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Biography[edit]

She was born and died at Frankfurt am Main, and was a daughter of Johann Wolfgang Textor, a prominent citizen of Frankfurt. She married Johann Kaspar Goethe, on 20 August 1748, and had four children by him. She was a woman of exceptional intellect, marked individuality, and a joyous cast of mind, as evidenced by her letters, and in the frequent references to her found in the works of her son, upon whose intellectual development she undoubtedly exerted a remarkable influence.

She was made the heroine of the work by Bettina von Arnim entitled Dies Buch gehört dem König (1843), and is one of the central figures of Karl Gutzkow's play, Der Königsleutnant.

Writings[edit]

Much of her correspondence has been published in Goethe's Mother, Correspondence of Catharine Elizabeth Goethe with Goethe (Leipzig, 1889). Her letters to the Duchess Anna Amalia, the mother of Goethe's patron Grand Duke Karl August, were published at Weimar in 1885.

Further reading[edit]

  • Keil, Frau Rat (Leipzig, 1871)
  • Eric Schmidt, Charakteristiken (Berlin, 1886)
  • Heinemann, Goethes Mutter (6th ed., Leipzig, 1900)

References[edit]