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The Brothers Grimm - fairy tale collectors

  • Des Knaben Wunderhorn: Folk song collection by Arnim and Brentano (Source: Public Domain)

In contrast to all other epochs, one distinguishes three literary centers in Romanticism, which mark the different stages:
1. The Jena Romanticism (= early romanticism)
2. The Heidelberg Romanticism (= High Romanticism)
3. The Berlin Romanticism (= late Romanticism)

Early Romanticism / Jena Romanticism (1798-1804)

Jena was the center of early romanticism. It was above all the brothers August Wilhelm Schlegel (1767-1845) and Friedrich Schlegel (1772-1829) who had a great influence on the preparation of romantic thought. August Wilhelm is still considered the leading Shakespeare translator to this day. Together with Novalis - Georg Friedrich Philipp von Hardenberg (1772-1801), Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling (1775-1854) and many others, the early romanticists campaigned for the promotion of world literature. They published their writings in literary magazines such as the "Athenaeum" (the most important romantic periodical).

High Romanticism / Heidelberg Romanticism (1804-1818)

In Heidelberg a group of poets came together around Joseph Freiherr von Eichendorff (1788-1857), Achim von Arnim (1781-1831) and Clemens Brentano (1778-1842). Brentano and Arnim have emerged with poetry, prose, and an influential collection of folk songs. Eichendorff also took up the rediscovered folk song, and even his poems became folk songs through the setting of famous composers.

The high romantics, to which the Brothers Grimm belong, particularly promoted folk poetry (sagas, fairy tales, etc.).

Late Romanticism / Berlin Romanticism (1816-1835)

The center of late Romanticism was Berlin, with Stuttgart also playing an important role as the center of the "Swabian Poet School". Ludwig Uhland (1787-1862) and Gustav Schwab (1792-1850) were representatives of this school of poets. The works, poems and stories that emerged in this last phase of Romanticism were formative for the entire epoch. E.T.A. Hoffmann (1776-1822) and Joseph von Eichendorff (1788-1857) had the greatest influence on this.