Who was Ernst Baron von Feuchtersleben


Ernst Freiherr von Feuchtersleben

Austrian writer and doctor (1806 - 1849)

Ernst Maria Johann Karl Freiherr von Feuchtersleben, in short: Ernst Freiherr von Feuchtersleben, was an Austrian popular philosopher, doctor, poet and essayist who was born on April 29, 1806 in Vienna into a Saxon family who previously lived in Hildburgshausen. His half-brother was the mining engineer and man of letters Eduard von Feuchtersleben (1798-1857).

Ernst von Feuchtersleben's father was an Austrian councilor who enabled his son to study at the Theresian Academy in Vienna. Ernst Freiherr von Feuchtersleben attended school from 1813 to 1825 and then studied medicine at the University of Vienna. He received his doctorate in 1834 and later opened a private practice in the suburbs of Vienna.

Ernst Freiherr von Feuchtersleben frequented the city's intellectual circles and interacted with Franz Grillparzer, Franz Schubert, Franz von Schober, Johann Mayrhofer, Romeo Seligmann, Adalbert Stifter and Friedrich Hebbel, among others.

Feuchtersleben published numerous literary, aesthetic and critical articles for journals and almanacs as well as in 1836 the first volume of poetry "Gedichte". In 1838 his widely acclaimed book "On the Dietetics of the Soul" was published, a life help book for achieving moral health, which became a bourgeois house book and bestseller of the 19th century.

From 1840 Feuchtersleben worked as secretary of the "Society of Doctors" and in 1844 became professor of psychiatry at the University of Vienna. In 1845 he published his lectures on medical psychology under the title "Textbook of Medical Psychology". The script quickly developed into a basic work of medical psychology and psychiatry that was translated into various other languages.

In 1848 Ernst von Feuchtersleben was temporarily Undersecretary of State for Education.

On September 3, 1849, Ernst von Feuchtersleben died in Vienna.

Significant in literary history are above all Ernst von Feuchtersleben's aphorisms that reflect his liberal spirit, which, however, ultimately remained caught in his conventions. Feuchtersleben initially enthusiastically welcomed the Vienna March Revolution of 1848 in Vienna, but like many moderate constitutionalists of his generation he soon distanced himself from the radicalization of the revolutionary events and demands.