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Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann

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Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann

*  1776 Königsberg
† 1822 Berlin


The German Romantic writer Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann was born on January 24, 1776 in Königsberg. Hoffmann grew up with his mother and grandmother after his parents' separation and attended the reformed school in Königsberg. In 1792, he began studying law in Königsberg and took his exams three years later. He passed the bar exams in 1798 and relocated to Berlin. After his assessor exams in 1800, he had to move to Posen (today located in Poland). Hoffmann married two years later and was dispatched to Plock (also in Poland), as punishment for a series of caricatures he had published. He also did not receive his doctorate. He published his first literary work: "Writings of a Priest in a Monastery to his Friend in the Capitol" ("Schreiben eines Klostergeistlichen an seinen Freund in der Hauptstadt"). Hoffmann was then named to the cabinet and went to Warsaw in 1804 to assume his new post. In 1806, Hoffmann appeared as a conductor for the first time. Hoffmann was forced to return the Berlin because of the French occupation of Warsaw. He worked as bandmaster in the Bamberg Theater in 1809 and later as a composer, before returning to Berlin once more to work in the civil service. In 1809, Hoffmann's works, "The Elixirs of the Devil" ("Die Elixiere des Teufels") and the opera "Undine," with the novella "Das Fräulein von Scuderi" appearing two years later. During that time, Hoffmann fell ill and arranged for his retirement in 1821. During those years, he published his second novel in two volumes: "Lebensansichten des Katers Murr nebst fragmentischer Biographie des Kapellmeisters Johannes Kreisler in zufälligen Manuskriptblättern" ("Murr the Cat's View on Life alongside the Fragmentary Biography of the Bandmaster Johannes Kreisler from Random Manuscript Pages"). On June 25, 1822, E. T. A. Hoffmann died in Berlin.