(Friedrich) Karl Elze
* 22.05.1821 in Dessau; ✝ 21.01.1889 in Halle (Saale)
Elze began his career with a twenty-five year stint as a grammar school teacher in his home town of Dessau, where he rose to prominence as a translator of English poetry. He was an eloquent spokesman for the establishment of English departments at German universities and was himself made professor at the University of Halle. He was a friend of Ferdinand Freilgrath. Elze, having published biographies of Walter Scott (1864) and Lord Byron (1870), wrote another on Shakespeare (William Shakespeare, 1876), which was translated into English in 1888.
Elizabethan theatre remained his chief interest. He edited plays, among them Hamlet (1857) and Chapman’s Alphonsus (Leipzig 1867), and contributed numerous textual criticisms and emendations, partially collected in Notes on Elizabethan Dramatists (1880-1886; 2nd edition 1889). Elze was a founding member of the German Shakespeare Society and, between 1868-1879, the editor of the Shakespeare Jahrbuch, to which he often contributed as an author. Some of these writings were collected in the 1877 volume Abhandlungen zu Shakespeare.
- William Shakespeare. Halle, 1876 (English translation by L. Dora Schmitz, London, 1888).
- Abhandlungen zu Shakespeare. Halle, 1877.
- Notes on Elizabethan Dramatists with Conjectural Emendations of the Text. 2 vols. Halle, 1880-86. 2. ed. 1889.
- Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Leipzig, 1857.
- Die englische Sprache und Literatur in Deutschland. Dresden, 1864.
- Sir Walter Scott. 2 vols. Dresden, 1864.
- Der englische Hexameter. Dessau, 1867.
- Lord Byron. Berlin, 1870. 3rd ed. 1886.
- Beile, Birgit H.: „Friedrich Karl Elze“, Shakespeare-Jahrbuch (1993). Pp. 298-306.
- Proescholdt, Ludwig.: „Friedrich Karl Elze. Nekrolog“, Shakespeare-Jahrbuch, 24 (1889). Pp. 180-86.
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Elze, (Friedrich) Karl, in: The Digital Shakespeare Memorial Album. Edited by Christa Jansohn. URI: http://www.shakespearealbum.de/uri/gnd/116464127. (Accessed on 26.09.2023)
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.