1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Pückler-Muskau, Hermann Ludwig Heinrich, Fürst Von

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1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 22
Pückler-Muskau, Hermann Ludwig Heinrich, Fürst Von

PÜCKLER-MUSKAU, HERMANN LUDWIG HEINRICH, Fürst Von (1785-1871), German author, was born at Muskau in Lusatia on the 30th of October 1785. He served for some time in the bodyguard at Dresden, and afterwards travelled in France and Italy. In 1811, after the death of his father, he inherited the barony of Muskau and a considerable fortune. As an officer under the duke of Saxe-Weimar he distinguished himself in the war of liberation and was made military and civil governor of Bruges. After the war he retired from the army and visited England, where he remained about a year. In 1822, in compensation for certain privileges which he resigned, he was raised to the rank of Fürst by the king of Prussia. Some years earlier he had married the Gräfin von Pappenheim, daughter of Fürst von Hardenberg; in 1826 the marriage was legally dissolved though the parties did not separate. He again visited England and travelled in America and Asia Minor, living after his return at Muskau, which he spent much time in cultivating and improving. In 1845 he sold this estate to Prince Frederick of the Netherlands, and, although he afterwards lived from time to time at various places in Germany and Italy, his principal residence was his seat, Schloss Branitz near Kottbus, where he laid out splendid gardens as he had already done at Muskau. In 1863 he was made an hereditary member of the Prussian Herrenhaus, and in 1866 he attended the Prussian general staff in the war with Austria. He died at Branitz on the 4th of February 1871, and, in accordance with instructions in his will, his body was cremated. As a writer of books of travel he held a high position, his power of observation being keen and his style lucid and animated. His first work was Briefe eines Verstorbenen (4 vols., 1830-1831), in which he expressed many independent judgments about England and other countries he had visited and about prominent persons whom he had met. Among his later books of travel were Semilassos Vorletzter Weltgang (3 vols., 1835), Semilasso in Afrika (5 vols., 1836), Aus Mehemed-Alis Reich (3 vols., 1844) and Die Rückkehr (3 vols., 1846-1848). He was also the author of Andeutungen über Landschaftsgärtnerei (1834).

See Ludmilla Assing, Pückler-Muskaus Briefwechsel und Tagebücher (9 vols., 1873-1876); Fürst Hermann von Pückler-Muskau (1873); and Petzold, Fürst Hermann von Pückler-Muskau in seiner Bedeutung für die bildende Gartenkunst (1874).