Decorative thumbnail-sized portrait of Johann Christoph Gottsched and Luise Gottsched (Kulmus)

About these documents

Gottsched's biography: After the death of his wife in 1762 Johann Christoph Gottsched serialized his account of her life for one of his journals. A revised version of this biography preceeded the memorial collection of texts by and for her which he published in 1763. The early poetry of Luise Kulmus and many of his epistolary poems to her were taken from this source.

Juvenalia: Youthful poetry of Luise Kulmus before her marriage to Johann Christoph Gottsched.

Social Life: Background on the history of Danzig as well as its social and political structure

Intellectual Life: Prominent Danzig intellectuals and important institutions.

Occasional Poetry: Poetry by Renate Breyne and Luise Kulmus's uncle, Johann Adam Kulmus

Luise Gottsched's letters [to be added]: In 1771/2 a friend of Luise Gottsched, Dorothea von Runckel, published a collection of her letters. Recent discoveries of the originals of a few of these make it clear that the published versions are at least sometimes quite different from the originals. It may have been that Runckel edited the texts. Or correspondents who submitted them to her may have edited them. Or her husband may have in some cases. The letters by Kulmus which appear here are the "courtship letters" as they appeared in 1771/2. The originals are presumed lost. Of these we know that even as he courted her, Johann Christoph Gottsched conceived the idea of publishing her letters. Luise Kulmus appealed to him not to, at least not until after her death. In her introduction to the letters Runckel tells us that Luise Gottsched had sent her the letters for publication. However, it becomes clear that the collection Luise Gottsched sent her expanded considerably when friends learned of Runckel's project. In 175 Luise Gottsched wrote Dorothea von Runckel that she was sending her certain texts which she had edited. It seems likely that these included the "courtship letters" and, although the footnotes in the collection appear to be by Runckel, it also seems likely that Gottsched herself edited these.

Johann Christoph Gottsched's poetic epistles [to be added]: These are taken from the collection of his poetry published by Johann Schwabe and from his memorial to her.