Justinus Kerner

Justinus Kerner

Justinus Andreas Christian Kerner (18 September 1786, in LudwigsburgBaden-WürttembergGermany – 21 February 1862, in Weinsberg, Baden-Württemberg) was a German poet, practicing physician, and medical writer. He gave the first detailed description of botulism.

In Bilderbuch aus meiner Knabenzeit, Kerner recalls George Rapp‘s visits to his father, the Oberamtmann at Maulbronn. Kerner’s father had helped shield Rapp from religious prosecution by the authorities in Germany, and Kerner well remembered Rapp and his long black beard.[1] George Rapp and his followers eventually left Germany in 1803, settled in the United States, and started the Harmony SocietyDie Seherin von Prevorst and its tale about Kerner’s relationship with Friederike Hauffe — the latter reputed to have visionary and healing powers, and who had produced a strange ‘inner’ language containing Hebrew-like elements — made quite an impression among the members of the Harmony Society in 1829, who saw it as confirmation of the approaching millennium and of their religious views.[2]

Robert Schumann set Kerner’s poems in his Opus 35, 12 Gedichte von Justinus Kerner, composed in 1840 and dedicated to “Dr. Friedrich Weber in London.” Schumann called the set a Liederreihe, or “row of songs.”

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