The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Varnhagen von Ense, Karl August
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Varnhagen von Ense, Karl August
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VARNHAGEN VON ENSE', värn'hä-gĕn fŏn ĕn'sĕ, Karl August, German soldier, diplomat and author: b. Düsseldorf, 21 Feb. 1785; d. Berlin, 10 Oct. 1858. He studied at Berlin, Halle, and Tübingen, assisted Chamisso in the latter's ‘Musenalmanach’ (1804), in 1809 entered the Austrian army, fought at Aspern and Wagram, and after the peace was made adjutant to Prince Bentheim. Then he entered the Russian service as captain, served in Tettenborn's corps, and wrote a ‘Geschichte der Kriegszüge Tettenborns’ (1814). He accompanied Prince Hardenburg to the Congress of Vienna (1814), and in 1815-19 was Prussian Minister-Resident at Carlsruhe. Subsequently he lived chiefly at Berlin. He was particularly successful in biographical portraiture, though at times relying overmuch on the anecdotal method. Among his published works are ‘Goethe in den Zeugnissen der Mitlebenden’ (1823); ‘Biographische Denkmäler’ (1824-30); ‘Denkwürdigkeiten und Vermischte Schriften’ (1843-46; 2 additional vols., 1859); ‘Tagebücher’ (1861-72); ‘Ausgewählte Schriften’ (1871-77).