Johann Ludwig Tieck was born on May 31, 1773, in Berlin as the son of a master rope-maker. Although he wanted to go on the stage, it was decided that he should study theology—the field most readily open to young men who were gifted but not affluent or well-connected. Tieck attended the universities at Halle, Erlangen, and Göttingen from 1792 to 1794, devoting himself more and more to the study of the humanities (literature, philology, history). After returning to Berlin, Tieck wrote in quick succession a horror novel, Abdallah (1795), the three volumes of Geschichte des Herrn William Lovell (1795-1796), and the novel Peter Leberecht (1795). From 1795 to 1798, Tieck contributed substantially to Friedrich Nicolai’s magazine Straussfedern on a freelance basis. Under the pseudonym Peter Leberecht (taken from his own novel), he published three volumes of Volksmärchen (1797), which included the tale of the beautiful Magelone. Johannes Brahms set the poems in it to music as Romanzen aus der “schönen Magelone,” opus 33. In the same year appeared The Outpourings of an Art Loving Friar, which as noted above, Tieck wrote in collaboration with his friend Wackenroder. These aesthetic reflections on art and music are still read and perceived as the epitome of the early Romantic program. The novel Franz Sternbalds Wanderungen also deals with aesthetic concepts; it is a Künstlerroman and has as its protagonist a fictitious pupil of Albrecht Dürer.
In 1798, Tieck married a pastor’s daughter, Amalia Alberti, from Hamburg. In 1799, he went to Jena, joining the Schlegels’ circle (August Wilhelm...
(The entire section is 687 words.)