Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald

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Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald
Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald.jpg
Born (1803-12-26)26 December 1803
Jõepere, Governorate of Estonia, Russian Empire
Died 25 August 1882(1882-08-25) (aged 78)
Tartu, Governorate of Estonia, Russian Empire
Resting place Raadi cemetery
Occupation Writer
Movement Estonian national awakening
Marie Elisabeth Saedler
(m. 1833; his death 1882)
  • Adelheid Anette Blumberg
  • Marie Ottilie Kreutzwald
  • Friedrich Alexis Kreutzwald

Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald (26 December [O.S. 14 December] 1803 – 25 August [O.S. 13 August] 1882) was an Estonian writer who is considered to be the father of the national literature for the country. He is the author of Estonian national epic Kalevipoeg.


Kreutzwald reading a manuscript of Kalevipoeg by Johann Köler (1864).
Kreuzwald Memorial in Kadriorg Park, Tallinn

Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald's parents were serfs[1] at the Jõepere estate, Governorate of Estonia, Russian Empire (in present-day Kadrina Parish, Lääne-Viru County). His father worked as a granary keeper and his mother was a chambermaid. After liberation from serfdom in 1815, the family was able to send their son to school at the Wesenberg (present-day Rakvere) district school.

In 1820, he graduated from secondary school in Tallinn and worked as an elementary school teacher. In 1833, Kreutzwald graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the Imperial University of Dorpat.

Kreutzwald married Marie Elisabeth Saedler on August 18 the same year. From 1833 to 1877, he worked as the municipal physician in Werro (present-day Võru).[2] He was the member of numerous scientific societies in Europe and received honorary doctorates from a number of universities.


Kreutzwald is the author of several moralistic folk books, most of them translated into German: Plague of Wine 1840, The World and Some Things One Can Find in It 1848–49, Reynard the Fox 1850, and Wise Men of Gotham 1857. In addition to these works, he composed the national epic Kalevipoeg (Kalev's Son),[3] using material initially gathered by his friend Friedrich Robert Faehlmann;[4] and wrote many other works based on Estonian folklore, such as Old Estonian Fairy-Tales (1866), collections of verses, and the poem Lembitu (1885), published after his death.

Kreutzwald is considered to be the author of the first original Estonian book. He was one of the leaders of the national awakening, as well as a paragon and encourager of young Estonian-speaking intellectuals.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A. Plakans, A Concise History of the Baltic States (2011) p. 210
  2. ^ F-Reinhold Kreutzwald
  3. ^ J. D. Rateliff, The History of the Hobbit (2007) p. 181
  4. ^ T. Miljan ed., Historical Dictionary of Estonia (2004) p. 236

External links[edit]