Julius Leopold Klein
* 1810 in Miskolc (Hungary); ✝ 02.08.1876 in Berlin
Journalist, Playwright, Literary historian
It is often believed that Klein, the son of Jewish parents and the brother of the journalist and translator János Kilényi, was born as early as 1808. He received private tutoring from German teachers during his childhood and thereafter attended the grammar school in Pest. After a short period of study in Vienna he received the title of Doctor of Medicine at Berlin in 1834. After long sojourns in Italy and Greece, he made his living as literature critic and journalist (Baltische Blätter, 1838; Berliner Modespiegel, 1842-1846; Berliner Zeitungs-Halle, 1847/1848; later: Preußische Zeitung).
Klein’s first plays emerged in the 1840s, though after initial success his theatrical works were increasingly forgotten and hardly ever produced. Although he took Shakespeare as his model, his works are regarded as being over-elaborate, marred by digressions, and unappealing from a literary point of view. None the less, their German-Hungarian origin and the picture they paint of incipient industrialization lend Klein’s tragedies a certain interest among literary academics.
Between 1865 and 1876 Klein published a multiple-volume Geschichte des Drama’s. Though here too his weaknesses are apparent, volumes 12 and 13 do devote much space to the story of English theatre up to and including Shakespeare.
- Geschichte des Drama’s. 13 vols. Leipzig, 1865-1876.
- Dramatische Werke. 7 vols. Leipzig, 1871-1872.
- Glatzel, Max: Julius Leopold Klein als Dramatiker (Breslauer Beiträge zur Literaturgeschichte, Neue Folge, 42). Stuttgart, 1914.
- Menges, Franz: ‘Klein, Julius Leopold’. In: Neue Deutsche Biographie, 11 (1977). P. 743 [Online Version]. Url: www.deutsche-biographie.de/pnd116212330.html.
- Nawrocka, Irene (subject editor): ‘Klein, Julius Leopold’. In: Österreichisches Biographisches Lexikon 1815-1950 (ÖBL). Vol. 3. Wien, 1965. P. 383.
- N.N.: Rez. ‘Klein’s History of the Drama. Geschichte des Drama’s von J. L. Klein’, The North American Review, 127:263 (1878). Pp. 167-169.
Album pages with this person
Citation and Licence
Klein, Julius Leopold, in: The Digital Shakespeare Memorial Album. Edited by Christa Jansohn. URI: http://www.shakespearealbum.de/uri/gnd/116212330. (Accessed on 12.07.2020)
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.