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Achim von Arnim (1804)
Writer and editor Achim von Arnim (1781-1831) was a major proponent of early Romanticism in German literature. Together with Clemens Brentano (1778-1842), he edited Des Knaben Wunderhorn: alte deutsche Lieder [The Youth’s Magic Horn: Old German Songs], a collection of folk songs that deepened the Romantic generation’s interest in the German Middle Ages. He also authored numerous novels, dramas, and novellas characterized by political conservatism and an inclination toward the fantastic and the supernatural. During the period of Napoleonic hegemony (1808-12), Arnim associated with a circle of patriotic poets who strove for Prussian liberation from French domination. Arnim was married to his collaborator’s sister, Bettina Brentano (1785-1859), whose salon attracted prominent figures in German political and cultural life. Oil on canvas by Peter Eduard Ströhling (1768-after 1826), 1804.