Schopenhauer, Adele (1797–1849)

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Schopenhauer, Adele (1797–1849)

German poet and sister of Arthur Schopenhauer. Born Luise Adele Schopenhauer on June 12, 1797, in Hamburg, Germany; died in 1849 in Bonn, Germany; daughter of Johanna Schopenhauer (1766–1838) and Heinrich Floris Schopenhauer (d. 1805, a merchant); sister of Arthur Schopenhauer (the German philosopher); never married; no children.

Adele Schopenhauer, a poet and novelist, was born in 1797 in Hamburg, Germany. After her father Heinrich Schopenhauer, a merchant in Hamburg, committed suicide in 1805 when the family business failed, her mother Johanna Schopenhauer moved with Adele to Weimar. There, Adele grew up surrounded by the leading writers and artists of Germany who flocked to her mother's biweekly literary salons. Since Johanna turned to writing fiction to support herself and Adele, and her brother Arthur Schopenhauer made his name as a Romantic philosopher, it is not surprising that Adele, well educated, became a writer as well. Among her circle of literary friends were the family of Johann Goethe and the renowned poet Annette von Droste-Hülshoff . Adele wrote novels, including Anna (1844) but preferred poetry, and shared with her brother the Romantic sense of the emptiness and superficiality of society. She also had a strong interest in folklore and composed children's fairy tales based on popular legends. Adele had a difficult relationship with her brother, who was for a long time estranged from the family, but tried to mediate between him and their mother. After her mother's death, Adele edited many of Johanna Schopenhauer's works. She died in Bonn about age 52.


Buck, Claire. The Bloomsbury Guide to Women's Literature. NY: Prentice Hall, 1992.

Wallace, W. Life of Arthur Schopenhauer. St. Clair Shores, MI: Scholarly Press, 1970.

Laura York , M.A. in History, University of California, Riverside, California

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Schopenhauer, Adele (1797–1849)

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