Ludwig Bechstein

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Ludwig Bechstein

Ludwig Bechstein (24 November 1801 – 14 May 1860) was a German writer and collector of folk fairy tales.

He was born in Weimar, the illegitimate child of Johanna Carolina Dorothea Bechstein and Hubert Dupontreau, a French emigrant who disappeared before the birth of the child; Ludwig thus grew up very poor in his first nine years. His situation improved only when his uncle Johann Matthäus Bechstein, a renowned naturalist and forester living in Meiningen in the country of Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen, adopted him in 1810. He was sent to school in Meiningen, and in 1818, started an apprenticeship as a pharmacist.

From 1828 to 1831 he studied philosophy and literature in Leipzig and Munich thanks to a stipend granted by Duke Bernhard II of Sachsen-Meiningen, who hired him subsequently as a librarian. This lifetime post provided Bechstein with a continuous income, while leaving him a lot of freedom to pursue his own interests and writing. He lived from 1831 until his death in Meiningen. In his honor, a fountain was built in the English Garden.

Bechstein published many works and was a successful author of his time. His German Fairy Tale Book was even more popular than the Brothers Grimm's collection when it was first published in 1845.[1] He published several collections of folk tales, and also published romances and poems

Important works[edit]

  • Thüringische Volksmärchen (1823)
  • Sonettenkränze (1826, through which Duke Bernhard became interested in him)
  • The Children of Haymon (1830, epic poem)
  • Der Totentanz (The Dance of Death, 1831, epic poem)
  • Grimmenthal (1833, novel)
  • Luther (1834)
  • Der Sagenschatz und die Sagenkreise des Thüringerlandes (A treasury of the tales of Thuringian legends and legend cycles)(1835–38)
  • Fahrten eines Musikanten (Journeys of a Musician, 1836–37, novel)
  • Deutsches Märchenbuch (German Fairy-Tale Book, 1845; 41st ed., 1893); French translation with introduction and comments: Corinne and Claude Lecouteux, Paris, José Corti, 2010 (collection Merveilleux)
  • New Natural History of Pet Birds (1846, humorous didactic poem)
  • Berthold der Student (1850, novel)
  • Deutsches Sagenbuch (1853)
  • Thüringer Sagenbuch (1858)
  • Thuringia's Royal House (1865)

Schools named after Ludwig Bechstein[edit]

  • Staatliche Grundschule 6, Erfurt: Bechsteinschule (public elementary school)
  • Ludwig-Bechstein-Grundschule, Meiningen: (public elementary school)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Bell, Anthea (2006). Rapunzel and other Magic Fairy Tales. Egmonts Press. p. 157. ISBN 1-4052-1832-0. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]