chapter  Chapter 8
9 Pages

Growing Fame as Horizons Widen

1816–1820
ByRuth Michaelis-Jena

After the Napoleonic upheavals the peoples of Europe longed for peace. But things were not quite as before. The zeal and eloquence of Johann Gottlieb Fichte’s Addresses to the German Nation, calling for national regeneration, stirred German intellectual life. Ernst Moritz Arndt’s ardent patriotic poems and songs roused the imagination of the young. The growing application of scientific knowledge was changing the tempo of life. During Jacob’s absence the more sociable Wilhelm had started a Lesekranzchen where a number of young men and women met once a week at each other’s houses. More elegant but perhaps less amusing were evenings spent at the house of Lulu Brentano, the wealthy Frau Karl Jordis. Satisfaction with his work had made the sober Jacob rise to flights of fancy. Growing fame brought the Grimms some brilliant offers, among them professorships at Bonn University.