Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (August 28, 1749-March 22, 1832) was a German playwright, scientist, and politician. He is considered among the most important and most influential writers of modern European literature. As Theo D’haen, editor of The Routledge Concise History of World Literature put it, that after Goethe published The Sorrows of Young Werther in 1774, all of Europe was bathed "in tears." He was instantly famous. His second novel, Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship (1795-96), is counted as one of the four greatest novels ever written. Many of his poems were set to music throughout the 18th- and 19th-centuries by a number of famous composers, including Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, and Wagner.