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Author Information: Heinrich Heine



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1797 - 1856

Heinrich Heine was born in 1797 in the Catholic Rhineland, the poor relation of a wealthy Jewish family. After attending the universities of Bonn, Göttingen and Berlin he was unable to settle to any suitable employment and uneasy under the repressive German political order in the Metternich era; to these years belong four volumes of travel sketches. Attracted by the ideals of the July Revolution, he moved to Paris, where he stayed for the rest of his life, interpreting German life and letters to the French and French politics to the Germans; in Germany his writings were officially branded as subversive. The first of his collections of verse, Book of Songs (1827), established his reputation as a lyric poet and was to provide a number of composers, notably Schumann, with song-texts. He continued to write almost to the end of his life, when he produced some of his finest poetry. He died, after eight years of a painful paralytic illness, in 1856.



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