Ulrike von Levetzow

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1821 portrait

Theodore Ulrike Sophie von Levetzow, known as Baroness Ulrike von Levetzow (4 February 1804 – 13 November 1899) was a friend and the last love of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

She was born at Löbnitz (today a part of Groitzsch) in Saxony, the daughter of the ducal Mecklenburg-Schwerin chamberlain and later Hofmarschall Joachim Otto Ulrich von Levetzow. The seventeen-year old girl first met Goethe in 1821 at Marienbad and again at Carlsbad in 1822 and 1823. The poet, then 72, was so carried away with her wit and beauty that he thought for a time of marrying her and urged Grand Duke Karl August of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach to ask for her hand in his name. Rejected, he left for Thuringia and addressed to her the poems which he afterward called Trilogie der Leidenschaft. These poems include the famous Marienbad Elegy.

Ulrike later confessed she was not prepared to marry and annoyedly denied a liaison with Goethe. She remained a bachelor woman for all her life and died at the age of 95 at Trziblitz Castle in Bohemia.

Publications[edit]

  • Suphan, Goethe Jahrbuch, volume xxi (Frankfort, 1900)
  • Kirschoer, Erinnerungen an Goethes Ulrike und an die Familie von Levetzow-Rauch (Aussig, 1904)