* 05.12.1816 in Kaschin (Russia); ✝ 27.06.1887 in Königsberg (Prussia)
Philologist, Shakespeare Researcher
Having attended the ‘Stadtschule’ Eylau and the Fridercianum and Kneiphöfschen grammar schools in Königsberg, Schmidt was awarded his school leaving certificate in 1834. Thereafter he studied over a period of eight semesters at the Albertus University in Königsberg, where he was awarded his PhD. He also passed his state exams there in 1840, which allowed him to teach German, Latin, Greek, French, history and geography. He worked devotedly as a teacher for forty-five years. After a one-year trial period at the Königsberg Altstadt grammar schools, he was offered employment – which soon became a fixed position in 1842 – by the Petri School in Danzig, where he remained for fourteen years. In 1849 he married Henriette Schaper, the daughter of a Danzig medical councilor. At the age of thirty eight Schmidt became the director of the city’s ‘höhere Bürgerschule’ (which was to become the Löbenicht Royal Grammar School), a position he retained until retiring in 1885.
Schmidt spent most of his free time researching English classics, Shakespeare above all. Along with individual editions of Coriolanus, King Lear and Julius Caesar Schmidt collaborated on the Schlegel-Tieck translation and wrote articles on Shakespeare. His greatest achievement and life’s work was the Shakespeare-Lexikon (1875), on which he worked for ten years. It was in recognition of this work, which was very well received in both England and America, that Schmidt was awarded the honorary title of Doctor Iuris by Harvard College. He died on 27th June 1887 of a severe attack of asthma.
- Sacherklärende Anmerkungen zu Shakespeare’s Dramen. Danzig, 1842.
- Voltaire’s Verdienste um die Einführung Shakespeare’s in Frankreich. Königsberg, 1864.
- 'Zur Shakespeareschen Textkritik', Shakespeare-Jahrbuch, 3 (1868). Pp. 341-369.
- Shakespeare-Lexikon. A complete dictionary of all the English words, phrases and constructions in the works of the poet. 2 vols. Berlin, 1874-1875.
- 'Quartos und Folio von Richard III.', Shakespeare-Jahrbuch, 15 (1880). Pp. 301-324.
- 'Zur Textkritik des King Lear', Anglia, 3 (1880). Pp. 1-31.
- Die ältesten Ausgaben des Sommernachtstraums. Königsberg, 1881.
- Coriolanus. Berlin, 1878.
- King Lear. Berlin, 1879.
- Julius Caesar. Berlin, 1882.
- Essay on the Life and dramatic Writings of Ben Jonson. Danzig, 1847.
- Supplemente zur französischen Grammatik. Danzig, 1853.
- Fränkel, Ludwig: 'Schmidt, Alexander'. In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, 31 (1890). Pp. 713-715 [Online Version]. Url: http://www.deutsche-biographie.de/pnd117644137.html?anchor=adb.
- Lentzner, Karl: 'A. Schmidt', Englische Studien, 11 (1888). Pp. 364–387.
- Schultz, Fritz:. 'Alexander Schmidt, Nekrolog', Jahrbuch der deutschen Shakespeare-Gesellschaft, 24 (1889). Pp. 174–179.
Album pages with this person
Citation and Licence
Schmidt, Alexander, in: The Digital Shakespeare Memorial Album. Edited by Christa Jansohn. URI: http://www.shakespearealbum.de/uri/gnd/117644137. (Accessed on 27.09.2023)
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.