Friedrich August Leo

* 06.12.1820 in Warsaw; ✝ 30.06.1898 in Glion (Switzerland)

Scholar, Writer, Book-Seller



Raised in Berlin, Leo attended the ‘Königliche Gewerbeschule’ in Berlin and was apprenticed as a book-seller. His profession took him to Copenhagen, where his friendship with Hans Christian Andersen and Henrik Hertz inspired him to return to Germany to finish his secondary education at ‘Abitur’ level. He did so aged 26, and went on to study philosophy in Leipzig. His first translation of poetry, König Renés Tochter by Henrik Hertz (1846), was a tremendous success, reprinted 14 times by 1884. Besides his scholarly work Leo also was a literary writer in his own right, publishing Gedichte in 1870, the comedy Ein Hochverräter in 1875 (under the pseudonym Aug. Olfer), and the children’s book Von vielen kleinen Siebensachen, die Euren Eltern Sorge machen in 1893.

In 1853 Leo completed the first of his treatises on Shakespeare, Beiträge und Verbesserungen zu Shakespeares Dramen. His interest in Shakespeare was wide-ranging, and he would go on to produce a stage version of Antonius und Cleopatra (1870), a translation of Macbeth for the new edition of the Schlegel-Tieck translation (1871), and several instances of internationally renowned textual criticism. In 1879 Leo succeeded Karl Elze as editor of the Yearbook of the German Shakespeare Society, in which capacity he would oversee 18 volumes of the journal until his death in 1898.





Primary Literature

Secondary Literature

Album pages with this person

Citation and Licence

Leo, Friedrich August, in: The Digital Shakespeare Memorial Album. Edited by Christa Jansohn. URI: (Accessed on 23.04.2019)

This text is published under the following licence: CC BY-ND 3.0 DE. Digitzed media reproduced with the permission of the library of Birmingham.

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