(2632 words)
  • Dennis Mahoney (University of Vermont)

Of the many authors writing in German at the end of the 18th century, one of the most illustrious was the multi-talented poet, novelist, aphorist, philosopher, political theorist, natural scientist, and religious mystic Friedrich von Hardenberg. Born into a family of nobility that could trace its lineage back to ancestors in the 12th century who named themselves de Novali, after their settlement Grossenrode, or magna Novalis, Hardenberg was to employ this designation of “clearer of new land” as his pseudonym and poetic goal. Together with Friedrich (1772-1829) and August Wilhelm Schlegel (1767-1845), he became one of the founders of German Romanticism; unlike them, he distinguished himself both as a poet as well as a c…

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Mahoney, Dennis. "Novalis". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 September 2004
[, accessed 28 September 2016.]

Articles on Novalis' works

  1. Die Christenheit oder Europa [Christianity or Europe]
  2. Heinrich von Ofterdingen
  3. Hymnen an die Nacht [Hymns to the Night]

Related Groups

  1. European Romanticism