Heinrich Heine

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Christian Johann Heinrich Heine (13 December 1797 – 17 February 1856) was a journalist, essayist, literary critic, and one of the most significant German poets of the 19th century. He is best known outside Germany for his early lyric poetry, which was set to music in the form of Lieder (art songs) by composers such as Robert Schumann. Heine's later verse and prose is distinguished by its satirical wit and irony. His radical political views led to many of his works being banned by German authorities. Heine spent the last 25 years of his life as an expatriate in Paris.

Contents

Early life

Childhood and youth

Heine was born in Düsseldorf, Rhineland, into a Jewish family. He was called "Harry" as a child, but after his baptism in 1825 he became "Heinrich".[1] Heine's father, Samson Heine (1764–1828), was a textile merchant. His mother Peira (known as "Betty"), née van Geldern (1771–1859), was the daughter of a physician. Heinrich was the eldest of the four children; his siblings were Charlotte, Gustav - who later became Baron Heine-Geldern and publisher of the Viennese newspaper Das Fremdenblatt - and Maximilian, later a physician in Saint Petersburg.[2]

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