SCHILLER IN 1777 - 1778

In the March 1777 issue of the Schwaebische Magazin, Schiller's poem 'Der Erorberer' (The Conqueror) was featured. Daniel Schubart's story, 'Zur Geschichte des menschlichen Herzens'(published in 1775 in the Schwaebische Magazin) served as one of the bases for Schiller's play 'Robbers'. Another source for it was a newspaper article on the suicide of a student. Schiller developed an outline for a play 'Der Student von Nassau' (the Nassau student), which Schiller did not preserve; it could be seen as a further preliminary outline of the 'Robbers'.

Possibly in the fall of 1778, possibly already in 1776, the 'literary' group of friends around Schiller disbanded, as they came under sharp attack by a fellow student in a rough satire in the French style. While Schiller's friends Friedrich Wilhelm von Hoven and Georg Friedrich Scharffenstein may have given up on their writing activities, we certainly know what happened to Schiller's...

Friedrich Schiller reads from his play 'Robbers'. (1778?) drawing by Victor Heideloff. Heideloff was a fellow student of Schiller and sketched this drawing 'on location' during a Sunday outing (in May 1778?) in the nearby Bopserwaeldchen (Bosper Woods)--in the background can be seen the two steeples of the Stiftskirche. Apparently, the supervising officer allowed Schiller and his friends to break away from the group for a while, which the latter used to read his play to them. If this 'reading', however, refers to the completed play, this 'scene' would have had to have taken place in 1779/1780). The friends are (from left): Wilhelm von Hoven, Victor Heideloff, the later sculptor Heinrich Dannecker, Franz Joseph Kapf (who shared a room with Schiller in 1781) and Johann Christoph Schlotterbeck.