Heinrich Heine (13 December, 1797 – 17 February, 1856) was a German writer, critic and poet.
- Born as Harry Heine in Düsseldorf, Germany into a Jewish family.
- After he reluctantly converted to Lutheranism (1825) he changed his name to Heinrich. He converted because the Prussian government had restored laws decimating against Jews, and he saw this as a “ticket of admission into European culture”. His conversion, however, did not benefit his career.
- In 1826, Mr. Heine published his first book called Travel Pictures (Reisebilder) which included travel writing, romantic descriptions of nature, as well as satire. The volume was such a success that he published a second volume contain North Sea poems.
- On his visit to London Mr. Heine found the English to be commercial and prosaic.
- His third cousin once removed was Karl Marx. Marx admired Heine’s writings and when the two met in Paris they got along fine.
- In 1831 Mr. Heine visited Paris and settled there. Paris had the cultural richness that he couldn’t get in the small towns in Germany. He soon became a celebrity in the whole of France.
- As a French correspondent to one of his friend’s newspaper, Mr. Heine saw himself as a mediator between Germany and France, bringing progress through understanding.
- Mr. Heine’s poetry was set to music by many composers, including Robert Schumann and Franz Schubert.
- In 1848 Mr. Heine became paralyzed for an unknown reason. He stayed in bed until his death eight years later.
- According to analysis done on his hair in 1997, it was confirmed that Mr. Heine suffered from chronic lead poisoning.
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