Karl Joseph Simrock

* 28.08.1802 in Bonn; ✝ 18.07.1876 in Bonn

Poet, Philologist, Translator



Born the son of a music salesman in Bonn on 28th August 1802, he studied Law from 1818 at the university there. In addition he attended August Wilhelm Schlegel’s German language and literature lectures, and these influenced him greatly, particularly in respect of his view of England, with the result that he was particularly anxious to increase, by means of numerous studies and translations, the appreciation of Shakespeare both in England and Germany.  After a further period of study in Berlin, where Simrock busied himself with ancient German language and literature and his successfully completed law examination, he gained employment as an assistant judge in Berlin. But he was dismissed from state employment in 1830 on account of a poem glorifying the July Revolution in France. After the death of his father, who left him a considerable fortune, he dedicated himself from 1833 onwards to the study of ancient German language and literature.  Having received from the University of Tubingen the title of ‘philosophiae doctor seu artium liberalium magister’ in recognition of his translations of the Niebelungenlied (1827), the poems of Walther von der Vogelweide (1833) and other works, he accepted the position of Extraordinary Professor for German Language and Literature offered to him in Bonn. He died there on 18th July 1876.

Among Simrock’s best-known works are, alongside translations of the Edda and of Beowulf, his Amelungenlied and his edition of Goethe’s Westöstlicher Divan. His engagement with Shakespeare can be divided into two periods: 1837-1842 and 1867-1871. During the first he translated The Comedy of Errors, Cymbeline, Hamlet, The Merry Wives of Windsor and The Taming of the Shrew, in the second he collaborated on numerous translations appearing in the Dingelstedt Shakespeare edition.

Shakespeare Translations

Other Translations



Primary Literature

Secondary Literature

Album pages with this person

Citation and Licence

Simrock, Karl Joseph, in: The Digital Shakespeare Memorial Album. Edited by Christa Jansohn. URI: http://www.shakespearealbum.de/uri/gnd/118614576. (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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