Uhland, Ludwig

Uhland, Ludwig

Uhland, Ludwig (lo͝otˈvĭkh o͞oˈlänt), 1787–1862, German poet, leader of the Swabian group. He studied and practiced law at Tübingen, held various official posts, and taught German literature. His lyrics and ballads, almost all written in his youth, made him one of the most popular German poets of the romantic period. Noted for their lucid, polished style, they include “The Minstrel's Curse,” “The Good Comrade,” and “Taillefer.” His other works include Gedichte [poems] (1815), Vaterländische Gedichte [songs of the fatherland] (1816), and the unsuccessful drama Ludwig der Bayer (1819), which, however, contains some of his best verse.
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Uhland, Ludwig


Born Apr. 26, 1787, in Tübingen; died there Nov. 13,1862. German poet, dramatist, and public figure.

Uhland studied law and literature at the University of Tübingen from 1801 to 1810. In 1829 he became a professor of literature at the university, resigning from the position in 1833. Uhland began publishing his poetry in 1806. His first collection, Poems (1815; later expanded and published in many editions), established him in the tradition of German romanticism. Uhland’s best poems and ballads, which ring with a common hatred of tyranny, are distinguished by their clarity and precision of form; they also attest to the poet’s ability to evoke historical color. Among the first in Germany to make a systematic study of the Middle Ages and folklore, Uhland published the popular collection Old High and Low German Folk Songs (1844–45; reissued in numerous subsequent editions).

In 1819, Uhland became a member of the Landtag, where he served until 1826 and again from 1832 to 1838. He spoke out against the arbitrary rule of the bourgeois monarchy, both as a deputy and as a poet, as in his Patriotic Poems (first edition 1815—19). Many of Uhland’s poems were set to music by Brahms, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Schubert, and Schumann. Among those who translated Uhland’s poems into Russian were V. A. Zhu-kovskii, F. I. Tiutchev, M. L. Mikhailov, A. A. Fet, and P. I. Veinberg.


Gesammelte Werke, vols. 1–8. Leipzig, 1914.
Schriften zur Geschichte der Dichtung und Sage, vols. 1–8. Stuttgart, 1865–73.
Friihlingsglaube. Berlin, 1974.
In Russian translation:
In the collection Izbr. stikhotboreniia v perevodakh russ. poetov. St. Petersburg, 1902.
In the collection Nemetskie ballady. Moscow, 1958.


Istoriia nemetskoi literatury, vol. 3. Moscow, 1966.
Schneider, H. Uhland. Berlin, 1920.
Thomke, H. Zeitbewusstsein und Geschichtsauffassung im Werke Uhlands. Bern, 1962.
Froeschle, H. Ludwig Uhland und die Romantik. Cologne-Vienna, 1973.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.