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Ludwig Uhland (1787-1862)

German Poet and Politician

Die linden Lüfte sind erwacht,
Sie säuseln und wehen Tag und Nacht...

   aus "Frühlingsglaube" von Ludwig Uhland

Biographical Summary

The German romantic poet, author, professor, attorney and politician Ludwig Uhland (actually Johann Ludwig Uhland) was born in Tübingen on April 26, 1787. Uhland grew up and attended school (die Lateinschule) in Tübingen and later (1802-1808) studied law and classical literature at the university there.

By the time he published his first book of poetry, Vaterländische Gedichte (1815), Uhland was already working in the Württemberg ministry of justice in Stuttgart, and later as an attorney. It was not long before he became deeply involved in the struggle to restore parliamentary democracy in Württemberg, which had been a kingdom since 1806. With the establishment of a modern constitution under King Wilhelm I in 1819, Uhland represented Tübingen in the new Ständesversammlung legislative chamber. From 1829 to 1832 he was a professor of German at the University of Tübingen, but he resigned that position when he was elected as a liberal representative to sit in the Landtag parliament. After 1838 he withdrew from politics completely — except during Germany's brief and unsuccessful 1848 revolution, when Uhland sat in the German national assembly (Nationalversammlung) in Frankfurt. In 1850 he returned to his hometown of Tübingen, where he spent the rest of his life.

Send a greeting card with
lines from an Uhland poem.

Uhland's 1820 marriage to a wealthy heiress brought him the financial freedom to pursue both his political and literary ambitions. Besides his political activities, Uhland also contributed to literary scholarship in the form of significant works on Germanic sagas and folklore, as well as the medieval poet Walther von der Vogelweide. But he is best known for his romantic poetry, in a style that one critic has characterized as a blend of the classical form of Goethe and Schiller but with a simple style uniquely Uhland's. He is considered the master of "Swabian Romanticism" (schwäbische Romantik). (Another Swabian master poet from Tübingen: Eduard Mörike.) His historic ballads and other verse include "Roland," "Graf Eberhard," "Ich hatt' einen Kameraden" and "Der Wirtin Töchterlein." The last two and many others are perhaps best known in their musical Lieder form by Schubert and other composers.

Our collection of poems by Ludwig Uhland — in German and English.

Links for Ludwig Uhland

Places identified with Uhland

Uhland's Verse

Ludwig Uhland - Projekt Gutenberg
Some of Uhland's poems online at the Projekt Gutenberg Web site.

Des Sängers Fluch
Complete text of this Uhland poem from Project Gutenberg.

Uhland Lieder Texts
The lyrics to some of Uhland's best known Lieder from Emily Ezust's Lieder and Song Texts Page.

Uhland Books

Ludwig Uhland and the Critics
by Victor G. Doerkson
ISBN: 1-5711-3002-0
An interesting look at Uhland and his work. Topics include: Uhland and the Swabian School, Early Responses, Early Scholarship, The Biedermann Between Left and Right, Postwar (Re)interpretations, and Recent Controversies. Hardcover.

Related Pages

Our collection of poems by Ludwig Uhland — in German and English.

Authors in German Literature 1
Our main page for German-language authors on the Web.

Authors in German Literature 2
Our author index and link page for German-language authors on the Web.

Digital Greeting Cards
Send a free German e-card with lines from an Uhland poem.

Book Reviews
Reviews of books and materials for German.

Das Goethe-Institut
All about this indispensible resource for just about anything to do with German and German culture.

German literature online.

Daily German
The German word, quotation, or lesson of the day.

German Newsletters
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German for Beginners
Our free online German course.


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