Karoline Schelling  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Caroline Schelling (September 2, 1763September 7, 1809), was a noted German intellectual.

She was born at Göttingen, the daughter of the orientalist Michaelis.

In 1784, she married a district medical officer named Böhmer, in Clausthal in the Harz. After his death, in 1788, she returned to Göttingen, where she became familiar with the poet Gottfried August Burger and the critic of the Romantic school, August Wilhelm Schlegel. In 1791 she took up her residence in Mainz, joined the famous French revolutionary society of the Clubbists (Klubbisten), and suffered a short period of imprisonment on account of her political opinions.

In 1796 she went to Jena and married Schlegel, who was appointed extraordinary professor. They were divorced in 1803. She became the wife of the philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling. She died at Maulbronn.

Caroline Schelling played a considerable role in the intellectual movement of her time, especially in her Jena time. Here she debated with poets and philosophers like Novalis, Fichte, Hegel, Schiller and her later husband Schelling, and was considered as the heart of the early German romanticism. She is especially remarkable for the assistance she afforded Schlegel in his translation of Shakespeare's works. In her own name she only published some critical reviews.

See G Waltz, Caroline: Briefe an ihre Geschwister, etc. (2 vols., 1871), and, by the same author, Caroline und ihre Freunde (1882); further, J. Janssen, Eine Kulturdame und ihre Freunde, Zeit und Lebensbilder (1885), and Mrs A Sidgwick, Caroline Schlegel and her Friends (London, 1899).

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