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Gustav Schwab – The Merry Fools of Schilda

Gustav Schwab – The Merry Fools of Schilda

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Since the dawn of time, the men of Schilda were known for their immense wisdom. They were therefore constantly away from home to provide their advice and help to those who asked for it. One day the women complained about the long and repeated absences of their husbands. Together they decided to make themselves look like fools by performing crazy and amusing feats. Very quickly their reputation changed, they became “The Merry Fools of Schilda” and were thus able to regain their freedom and tranquility.

Gustav Benjamin Schwab (1792–1850) was a philosopher, pastor, editor, literary historian and a famous German writer. Son of the philosopher Johann Christoph Schwab, it was from an early age that he developed his taste for letters and the humanities. His poem Der Reiter und der Bodensee (The Rider and Lake Constance), written in 1823, is still one of the best-known poems in Germany today. It even gave rise to the very popular expression “To ride on Lake Constance” which means to perform a daring act without realizing it.

A little later, Schwab brought together myths and legends from Antiquity in his book Sagen des klassischen Altertums , published between 1838 and 1840. The latter was a real success and was widely distributed in German schools to the point of strongly influencing the vision of schoolchildren on this period of history. Schwab also had a taste for translations. It was notably his work as a translator which made French authors such as Alphonse de Lamartine, Auguste-Marseille Barthélemy, Joseph Mery and Victor Hugo accessible to the German public. Father of two children, he died at the age of fifty-eight in his hometown of Stuttgart.

Size: 12.5x19cm; 88 pages; color illustrations

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