Carl Ludwig Börne

* 06.05.1786 in Frankfurt (Main); ✝ 12.02.1837 in Paris

Polemicist, Journalist, Literary and Theater Critic



Carl Ludwig Börne was born Juda Löb Baruch in the Frankfurt ghetto.  He studied medicine and law in Berlin and Heidelberg before acquiring his doctorate in Gießen.  After being compelled to give up, because of his Jewish origins, his position as police actuary, he had himself baptized in the Evangelical faith with the name Carl Ludwig Börne. That same year he founded a periodical entitled ‘Die Waage’, which was to make his name. In post-Napoleonic Europe he was active as an anti-establishment journalist, getting briefly arrested as a result.  In 1830, in the wake of the July Revolution, he moved to Paris, where he wrote for the Allgemeine Zeitung and devoted himself to the ‘Young Germany’ movement, in the hope of contributing to a democratic breakthrough, sharpening up his quill to fight the repressive regimes of the years before 1848.  Every year since 1993, the Ludwig-Börne-Preis has been awarded to a German language political polemicist in the Frankfurter Paulskirche.

In Börnes Gesammelten Schriften (1828) there are two theatre reviews of Hamlet and The Merchant of Venice.  The latter, in particular, proved to be influential in the years to come – naturally enough, given that it was one of the first critical analyses of the way Shylock the Jew can be interpreted on stage.



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Citation and Licence

Börne, Carl Ludwig, in: The Digital Shakespeare Memorial Album. Edited by Christa Jansohn. URI: (Accessed on 30.05.2024)

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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