The New International Encyclopædia/Goethe, Katharina Elisabeth

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GOETHE, Katharina Elisabeth, known as “Frau Rat” (1731-1808). The mother of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. She was born at Frankfort-on-the-Main, and was a daughter of Johann Wolfgang Textor, a prominent citizen of that city. At the age of seventeen she was married to Johann Kaspar Goethe, by whom she had four children. She was a woman of exceptional intellect, marked individuality, and a delightfully joyous cast of mind, as evidenced by her letters, and in the frequent references to her found in the works of her son, upon whose intellectual development she undoubtedly exerted a remarkable influence. She was made the heroine of the work by Bettina von Arnim entitled Dies Buch gehört dem König (1843), and is one of the central figures of Gutzkow's famous play, Der Königsleutnant. Much of the correspondence of Katharina Elisabeth Goethe has been published in Goethe's Mother, Correspondence of Catharine Elizabeth Goethe with Goethe (Leipzig, 1889). Her letters to the Duchess Anna Amalia were published at Weimar in 1885. Consult: Keil, Frau Rat (Leipzig, 1871); Eric Schmidt, Charakteristiken (Berlin, 1886); Heinemann, Goethes Mutter (6th ed., Leipzig, 1900).