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Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann

Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann

Königsberg 1776 -
Berlin 1822


The German writer Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann was born on January 24, 1776 in Königsberg, the son of a lawyer. After his parents' separation, Hoffmann grew up with his mother and grandmother and attended the reformed school in Königsberg.
He began his law studies in Königsberg in 1792 and took his exams in 1795. In 1798 he passed the bar exams and relocated to Berlin. He had to move again after his assessor exams in 1800, this time to Posen (today located in Poland). Two years later Hoffmann married and in the same year was dispatched to Plock (also in Poland) because of a series of caricatures he published.
As a consequence of this he 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"). With the help of a friend, Hoffmann was named to the cabinet and went to Warsaw in 1804 to assume his new post. Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann appeared as a conductor for the first time in 1806.
The French occupation of Warsaw in that year forced Hoffmann to return to Berlin. For a time in 1809 he occupied the position of bandmaster in the Bamberg Theater and later worked as a composer, before returning to Berlin once more to work in the civil service. Hoffmann's works, "The Elixirs of the Devil" ("Die Elixiere des Teufels") and the opera "Undine," appeared in 1809, and two years later the novella "Das Fräulein von Scuderi" appeared.
During that time, Hoffmann fell ill and arranged for his resignation in 1821. In the years 1819 and 1821, 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, the writer, lawyer, composer, music critic, illustrator, and caricaturist Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann died in Berlin.

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