Malwida von Meysenbug
|Malwida von Meysenbug|
Malwida von Meysenbug
28 October 1816|
Kassel, Hesse, Germany
|Died||23 April 1903
|Known for||Memories of an Idealist|
|Parents||Carl Rivalier (father)|
Malwida von Meysenbug (28 October 1816 - 23 April 1903) was a German writer, who was a friend of Friedrich Nietzsche and Richard Wagner. She also met the French writer Romain Rolland in Rome in 1890, and is the author of Memories of an Idealist. She published the first volume anonymously in 1869.
Von Meysenbug was born at Kassel, Hesse. Her father Carl Rivalier descended from a family of French Huguenots, and received the title of Baron of Meysenbug from William I of Hesse-Kassel. The ninth of ten children, she broke with her family because of her political convictions. Two of her brothers made brilliant careers, one as a minister of state in Austria, and the other as Minister of the Karlsruhe. Von Meysenbug, however, refused to appeal to her family and lived first by joining a free community in Hamburg, and then by immigrating in 1852 to England where she lived by teaching and translating works. There, she met the republicans Ledru-Rollin, Louis Blanc, and Gottfried Kinkel, all political refugees. The young Carl Schurz also became acquainted with her there.
In 1862 von Meysenbug went to Italy with Olga Herzen, the daughter of Alexander Herzen, known as the "father of Russian socialism" (she was teaching his daughters) and resided there. Olga Herzen married Gabriel Monod in 1873 and established herself in France, but Malwida's poor health impeded her from joining her.
Von Meysenbug introduced Nietzsche to several of his friends, including Helene von Druskowitz. She invited Paul Rée and Nietzsche to Sorrento, a town which overlooks the bay of Naples, in the autumn of 1876. There, Rée wrote The Origins of Moral Sensations, and Nietzsche began Human, All Too Human. 
Malwida von Meysenbug died in Rome in 1903 and is buried in the Protestant Cemetery in the city.
- Human, All Too Human, Penguin Classics, p.x ISBN 978-0-14-044617-3
- Marion Faber, Human All Too Human, Penguin Classics, Introduction p.x
- Hiltrud Häntzschel (1994), "Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) (in German) (Berlin: Duncker & Humblo) 17: 407–409",
- Carl Schurz. Reminiscences. New York: McClure Publ. Co. 1907. Schurz discusses his friendship with Malwida von Meysenbug in Chapter 14 of Volume One.
- http://sophie.byu.edu/sophiejournal/thesis/Monte_Gardiner_thesis.pdf - translation of Memoirs of an Idealist trans. Monte Gardiner