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Hillebrand, Karl

HILLEBRAND, KARL (1829-1884), German author, was born at Giessen on the 17th of September 1829, his father Joseph Hillebrand (1788-1871) being a literary historian and writer on philosophic subjects. Karl Hillebrand became involved, as a student in Heidelberg, in the Baden revolutionary movement, and was imprisoned in Rastatt. He succeeded in escaping and lived for a time in Strassburg, Paris where for several months he was Heine's secretary and Bordeaux. He continued his studies, and after obtaining the doctor's degree at the Sorbonne, he was appointed teacher of German in the cole militaire at St Cyr, and shortly afterwards, professor of foreign literatures at Douai. On the outbreak of the Franco-German War he resigned his professorship and acted for a time as correspondent to The Times in Italy. He then settled in Florence, where he died on the 19th of October 1884. Hillebrand wrote with facility and elegance in French, English and Italian, besides his own language. His essays, collected under the title Zeiten, Volker und Menschen (Berlin, 1874-1885), show clear discernment, a finely balanced cosmopolitan judgment and grace of style. He undertook to write the Geschichte Frankreichs von der Thronbesteigung Ludwig Philipps bis zum Fall Napoleons III., but only two volumes were completed (to 1848) (2nd-ed., 1881-1882). In French he published Des conditions de la bonne comedie (1863), La Prusse contemporaine (1867), Etudes italiennes (1868), and a translation of O. Midler's Griechische Literaturgeschichte (3rd ed., 1883). In English he published his Royal Institution Lectures on German Thought during the Last Two Hundred Years (1880). He also edited a collection of essays dealing with Italy, under the title Italia (4 vols., Leipzig, 1874-1877).

See H. Homberger, Karl Hillebrand (Berlin, 1884).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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