1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Wildenbruch, Ernst von

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WILDENBRUCH, ERNST VON (1845-1909), German poet and dramatist, was born on the 3rd of February 1845 at Beyrout in Syria, the son of the Prussian consul-general. Having passed his early years at Athens and Constantinople, where his father was attached to the Prussian legation, he came in 1857 to Germany, received his early schooling at the Pädagogium at Halle and the Französische Gymnasium in Berlin, and, after passing through the Cadet school, became, in 1863, an officer in the Prussian army. He abandoned the military career two years later, but was recalled to the colours in 1866 for the war with Austria. He next studied law at the university of Berlin, and again served in the army during the Franco-Prussian War, 1870-71. In 1876 Wildenbruch was attached to the foreign office, which he finally quitted in 1900 with the title of counsellor of legation. He achieved his first literary successes with the epics Vionville (1874) and Sedan (1875). After publishing a volume of poems, Lieder und Balladen (Berl., 1877; 7th ed., 1900), he produced, in 1882, the tragedy, Die Karolinger. Among his chief dramas may be mentioned the tragedy Harold (1882); Die Quitzows (1888); Der Generalfeldoberst (1889); Die Haubenlerche (1891); Heinrich und Heinrichs Geschlecht (1895); Die Tochter des Erasmus (1900); and König Laurin (1902). Wildenbruch was twice (in 1884 and 1896) awarded the Schiller prize, and was, in 1892, created a doctor of philosophy honoris causa by the university of Jena. He also wrote several volumes of short stories (Novellen, 1883; New Novellen, 1885; Tiefe Wasser, 1897, &c.). He died on the 15th of January 1909.

Cf. B. Litzmann, Das deutsche Drama in den Bewegungen der Gegenwart (1894; 4th ed., 1897); H. Bulthaupt, Dramaturgie des Schauspiels, vol. iv. (1901).