Baggesen, Jens

Baggesen, Jens

(yĕns bäg`əsən), 1764–1826, Danish poet and satirist, b. Sjæland. Although a Germanophile, Baggesen was considered the leading Danish poet of his day. His elegant, imaginative poems include Comic Tales (1785) and the satirical The Ghost and Himself; or, Baggesen on Baggesen. The Labyrinth (2 vol., 1792–93), his outstanding prose work, is a vivid and witty account of his journeys.

Baggesen, Jens


Born Feb. 15, 1764, in Korsor; died Oct. 3, 1826, in Hamburg. Danish writer, translator, and philosopher-educator.

During the years 1811–14, Baggesen was professor of Danish literature at Kiel. He wrote in Danish and German. He traveled widely and in 1789 became acquainted with N. M. Karamzin. His books Comical Tales (1785) and Kalundborg Chronicles, or the Origin of Censorship (1791) raise the question of the necessity of freedom of the press in Denmark. In his travel diary Labyrinth, or the Poet’s Wanderings (1792–93), his protest against feudalism is expressed in the spirit of sentimentalism. Baggesen’s quarrel of 1807 as an educator with the romantic A. G. Oelenschláger on the means of the development of literature was widely known. He also wrote lyrical and religious psalms. He is the author of the polemical comedy The Deceased Faust (1811) and the epic poem Adam and Eve (1826).


Poetiske shifter, vols. 1–5. Copenhagen, 1889–1903.
Udvalgte digtninger. Copenhagen-Kristiania, 1907.


Baggesen, A. Jens Baggesens biographi, vols. 1–4. Copenhagen, 1843–56.
Norrild, S. Dansk litteratur fra Saxo til Kaj Munk, vol. 1. Copenhagen, 1949.
Billeskov Jansen, F. J. Danmarks digtekunst, book 3. Copenhagen, 1958.
Dansk litteratur historie, vols. 1–2. Copenhagen, 1964–65.
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